Contesting the claims by the government leaders, former Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said today Sri Lanka will get the COVID- 19 vaccines only by March.
He added that it would be sufficient only to 15 percent of the Sri Lankan population .
Dr. Senaratne told a press conference that 600,000 vaccines will be sufficient for a population of 300,000 as one person needed two doses. “The vaccine which Sri Lanka is to get from the World Health Organization (WHO) will be sufficient for 20 percent of the population. Accordingly that would be sufficient for one million people as each one has to get two doses of it as well. Therefore only 15 percent of the Sri Lanka population will get the vaccine in March. It will take another two and a half years for the entire Sri Lankan population to be vaccinated for COVID- 19,” the former Health Minister said.
This shortage had resulted because Sri Lanka failed to order the vaccines in advance like any other country, he said.
"The USA where there is a population of 322 million has booked a billion vaccines while Canada where there is a population of 37 million has booked for 38 million vaccines. India where there is a massive population of 1,358 million had booked 1,800 million vaccines. Sri Lanka will get a minimum amount as it had failed to book the vaccines,” he added.
“The government did not book a sufficient stock of vaccines on time but was promoting what it claimed indigenous medicines. The Minister of Health who spent her time throwing pots into the river and drinking syrups ended up becoming COVID -19 positive. The image that Sri Lanka has created is that it is a country where there are people with a tribal mind-set,” he also said. (Yohan Perera)