Sri Lanka to begin vaccination of 60+ and 30-to-60-year-old workforce early March
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will begin vaccinating people over the age of 60 and those in the workforce aged between 30 and 60 against COVID-19 in the first week of March, State Minister Sudarshini Fernandopulle said.
The State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control told reporters today that various industries have requested the vaccine from the government. Sri Lanka will also likely inoculate doctors and frontline workers in the private health sector, she said.
Over 160,000 frontline workers in the state sector including military personnel have received the India-donated Oxford-AstraZeneca-Covishield vaccine so far, Fernandopulle said, with a consignment of vaccines expected to arrive early March through the COVAX facility.
No major side effects have been reported, she added.
Last week (3), the State Minister told EconomyNext that Sri Lanka will receive eight million doses of a WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX facility, the first batch of which should arrive mid-February.
The government also plans to purchase 18 million doses, which will be administered free of charge, she said.
She said the government is optimistic that Sri Lanka will have received a third of the COVAX doses by the end of the second week of this month.
Under the COVOX facility, Fernandopulle said, the age category of 60 years and above will be given priority, while the government is also looking to purchase vaccines to immunise the rest of the population between the ages of 30 and 60. (Colombo/Feb08/2021)