-Reiterates vaccination could begin around mid-Feb
-Plans afoot to vaccinate 50-55% of population
With Sri Lanka having an effective National Immunization Policy in the country spanning for over 50 years, it is not a challenge for the country to provide vaccines to its people, said State Minister of Primary Health Services, Infectious Diseases and COVID-19 Prevention Sudarshani Fernandopulle.
Speaking to journalists after a function at the National Hospital Colombo today, she said Sri Lanka as a country had successfully eliminated several communicable diseases such as polio, measles and rubella with the aid of vaccination.
“We have successfully carried out vaccination programmes in the past for children and obtained almost 99% success,” she underlined.
“Thus, this is not the first such occasion Sri Lanka is preparing to administer the vaccine to its people. We have done it before and reaped successful results out of them,” she added.
Moreover, the Minister reiterated that the Government is making arrangements to provide COVID-19 vaccine to the people of Sri Lanka by mid-February under the first phase.
She also said plans are underway to administer the vaccine to 50 to 55% of the population, though only 20% of vaccine is granted free of charge. The Government would buy the rest of the 30%,” she said.
“The National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) has received the details on Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, which will be made available to us under the COVAX facility. It is currently in the process of referring and examining the details,” she added. (Sheain Fernandopulle)