Vaccine refusal blamed for rising death toll

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

The Ministry of Health has stated that the refusal of certain individuals suffering from co-morbidities and the elderly to get the Covid-19 vaccine is one of the main reasons for the increase in the Covid-19 death toll.

Speaking to The Morning, Ministry of Health Communications Director and Deputy Director General (DDG) of Public Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath said: “Certain individuals with co-morbidities and the elderly refuse to obtain Covid-19 vaccines. We don’t say that everyone does it, but very few do it and the same is one of the main reasons for the increase in Covid-19 deaths.”

He added that such people should be more interested in getting vaccinated than others, as they have a higher risk of contracting Covid-19. Claiming that such individuals are reported to have refused the vaccines, citing the co-morbidities and their age as reasons, Dr. Herath emphasised that it is because of those very reasons that they must be vaccinated.

“People over the age of 80-90 years are reluctant to be vaccinated since they assume that it would cause some issues because of their age. In addition, those suffering from co-morbidities are also reluctant to obtain the vaccines because they are having diseases. However, those are the very reasons as to why they must come and obtain the vaccines at the earliest,” he elaborated.

According to the Sri Lanka Epidemiology Unit as of 11.30 p.m. on Wednesday (24), 14,205 Covid-19-related deaths were recorded while the total number of infections stood at 559,605, of which a total of 527,929 patients have recovered.