By Shahaen Vishak
The extension of the Covid-19 vaccination drive to persons between the ages of 20 and 30 commenced yesterday (2) on a district-wise basis, according to Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella.
“We took steps to begin the vaccination programme for people between the ages of 20 to 30 on a district-level basis today,” Rambukwella had announced at a discussion with the Public Service United Nurses’ Union at the Ministry of Health yesterday.
A Health Ministry press release further detailed that, of those falling under the 20-30 age group, all frontline healthcare workers, as well as a considerable number of persons working in essential service industries, such as garment factory workers, had been vaccinated already.
Around 3.7 million of the population falls under this age group, and the release stated that the Minister had instructed officials to expedite the vaccination of these individuals.
On his official Twitter handle, Rambukwella stated last evening: “As Sri Lanka proceeds to blaze a trail in the vaccine rollout, today (2) marked another milestone, where we now turn our attention to vaccinating the 20-30 age group at district level. I urge everyone to voluntarily get vaccinated ASAP.”
Speaking at the discussion with the Public Service United Nurses’ Union yesterday, the Minister had also expressed his firm belief that all above the age of 30 could be fully vaccinated (with both doses of the vaccine) within the next two to three weeks, while the full vaccination of all those above the age of 20 could be completed by the end of October.
He also urged the public to get inoculated with whichever vaccine is available at the earliest, without waiting for specific vaccines.
At the beginning of the week Rambukwella announced that over seven million people in Sri Lanka have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine as of Saturday (28 August).
He further said that Sri Lanka is on track to vaccinate 60% of the population by mid-October this year, which would be approximately 13.2 million people.