The Government is planning to vaccinate 50 per cent of the population free of charge when the Covid-19 vaccine is available in the country by the end of February or early March.
Addressing the Cabinet news briefing, Cabinet spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said there had been plans to vaccinate all citizens free of charge and added it was yet to be finalised.
“However, the Government is of the opinion that at least 50 per cent of the population should be vaccinated free of charge and accordingly, we have planned to vaccinate 11 million people in the country,” he said.
“We have already identified to whom the vaccine should be given first. Obviously, the priority should be given to the frontline health and security officials,” the Minister underlined.
He also said that they were in the process of finalising the discussion on vaccination.
"The Government has had talks with four Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers by now," he added.
It was reported that frontline healthcare workers, military personnel, patients with non-communicable diseases over the age of 60 and people between 55 to 59 years of age have been identified as individuals eligible for vaccination.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has reportedly agreed to provide about 4.2 million vaccines to Sri Lanka to vaccinate about 20 per cent of Sri Lanka's population.
Sri Lanka is likely to receive Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine through COVAX. (Sheain Fernandopulle)