President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the health authorities to vaccinate all those above the age of 30 in the Western Province before July 31st.
So far, 60% of the population in this age category in Colombo, 47% in Gampaha and 34% in Kalutara have been given the first dose of the Covid vaccine.
President Rajapaksa emphasized the need to inoculate a higher percentage of people in all parts of the country before September in a systematic manner following the receipt of vaccines that have been ordered.
The President gave these instructions at a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat this morning (02) with the special committee on COVID-19 Control on the vaccination drive and future operations.
The President expressed confidence that Sri Lanka would soon receive the required amount of AstraZeneca vaccines for the second dose. Accordingly, the President instructed the health officials to make arrangements to provide the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to all those who had received it as the first dose.
Specialist Dr. Prasanna Gunasena, member of the Special Committee on COVID-19 Control, pointed out that the University of Oxford has recommended that a person who has received the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine can receive the second dose within a period up to 45 weeks.
The President’s Office said that the commencement of the vaccination drive at hospitals from last Monday has paved the way to provide COVID-19 vaccines to a large number of people in a short period of time. Steps have been taken to continue the method throughout the island.
Ministers Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Gamini Lokuge, Bandula Gunawardana, Keheliya Rambukwella, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Johnston Fernando, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Ramesh Pathirana, Namal Rajapaksa, State Ministers Sudarshini Fernandopulle, Channa Jayasumana, MP Madhura Withanage, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Health Secretary Major General (Retd.) Specialist Dr. Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Commanders of the Navy and Air Force, the Inspector General of Police and the Heads of Health Sector were also present at the meeting.