Get vaccine before we move to next age group: Hemantha Herath

  • Health Ministry says vaccinating above 30s will be tough once student vaccinations begin 

BY Buddhika Samaraweera 

The Ministry of Health has urged all those who are in the age groups which are eligible to receive vaccines at present, to obtain them without delay, as it will be difficult to focus on them once vaccination of unvaccinated age groups commences. 

“The provision of the Covid-19 vaccines will be continued. But in the future, other groups such as school children will have to be vaccinated in addition to those who are currently being given it. Therefore, it will be difficult for us to focus on those above the age of 30 who are currently able to receive the vaccines. Therefore it is better for all those above 30 years to obtain the vaccines at this moment,” speaking to The Morning, Health Ministry Communications Director, Public Health Services Deputy Director General (DDG), and Disaster Preparedness and Response Division Head Dr. Hemantha Herath said.

He also added that in the future, the health authorities will have to limit programmes such as home-based vaccination which is currently taking place as it will be difficult to go closer to homes and carry out vaccinations on persons who find it difficult to visit a vaccination centre.

He said that in the next few months, it will be one year since the introduction of Covid-19 vaccination in Sri Lanka and that if a third dose is required during that time, it will also have to be considered.

“There are discussions ongoing about the administration of a third dose and there is also a discussion about giving an annual dose. If such a programme is to be started, there will be no time to spend on those who are eligible to get them now,” he noted.

According to the Epidemiology Unit, as of 8.30 p.m. of 20 September 2021, a total of 24,927,089 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Sri Lanka, including 2,492,681 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine, 19,992,586 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, 202,542 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, 697,303 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and 1,541,977 doses of the Moderna vaccine.