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Vaccines don’t protect 100% so follow guidelines: Hemantha Herath

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

The Health Ministry has pointed out that since it was known from the beginning that Covid-19 vaccines do not provide 100% protection against the virus, it is more important to adhere to the preventive health guidelines in order to control the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was recently reported that certain studies have shown that the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines decreases several months after vaccination.

Accordingly, when questioned about this, Health Ministry Communications Director, Public Health Services Deputy Director General, and Disaster Preparedness and Response Division Head Dr. Hemantha Herath told The Morning: “From the beginning of the vaccination against Covid-19, the health authorities have told the public that vaccines don’t provide 100% protection against the virus, but it does provide some protection at least for some time, and therefore, we cannot abandon vaccination.”

He further said that the contraction of Covid-19 would not be prevented just because someone has got the vaccines and therefore urged the public to follow the Covid-19-related health guidelines properly.

However, he noted that despite various reports that the effectiveness of the vaccines would decrease after some time, the health authorities cannot reach a final conclusion based on such reports. “There are only reports and because of one or two such reports, we cannot come to a hasty conclusion. Therefore, what we tell the public is to go and get the vaccines,” he added.

According to the Epidemiology Unit, as of 8.30 p.m. on 16 November, a total of 29,570,512 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Sri Lanka, including 2,898,224 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine, 22,805,268 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, 314,892 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, 1,964,597 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and 1,587,531 doses of the Moderna vaccine. In addition, 128,811 Pfizer-BioNTech doses have been administered as booster doses.