Nov 24, Colombo: The Minister of Health Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella stated that it was decided Wednesday (24) to give the COVID-19 booster vaccine to the citizens of this country over 20 years of age.
Accordingly, arrangements will be made for this in the next few days, the Minister said while making a special statement at the Ministry of Health today (24).
The booster vaccine is now being given to citizens over 60 years of age. Although the booster vaccine was introduced in Sri Lanka for citizens over 60 years of age, some countries in the world started giving it to people over 65 years of age, he pointed out.
The booster vaccine has already been administered to 380,213 people, including those in the health sector and frontline workers, he said.
The Minister pointed out that 73% of the total population has been vaccinated so far and the program to reach the target of 75% in the next few days will be implemented accordingly. He also points out that this is a significant victory for the entire people of the country.
He said that nearly 1.1 million children have been vaccinated so far and arrangements have been made to increase the target to another 200,000.
Furthermore, the Minister of Health said it has been decided that events, weddings, cinemas, restaurants, hotel complexes, festivals etc. can function as usual under the health guidelines. Prior to this, these sectors were systematically started at 25%, 50% of capacity.
However, he said that discussions will be held with the President next Friday to decide within which limits the areas to be opened should be implemented.
The Minister pointed out that even when these areas are opened, the wearing of masks, full vaccination and social distance should be taken into consideration. He said that those who open these sectors and the citizens who join them should pay full attention to health guidelines and health policies and if not, some tough decisions will have to be taken in this regard again.
"However I strongly reiterate that if health guidelines are not rigorously upheld, strict measures will be taken by government authorities to curb any future possible pandemic spikes," he said.
The Minister called for a long-term plan to take the country towards normalization during the Covid disaster and not to resort to short-term programs for profit.