Colombo, January 21 (Daily Mirror) – Politicians will not receive any special priority to receive the COVID-19 vaccines once it arrives here but Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi is likely to get the jab in the first lot, under healthcare workers, a senior official from the Health Ministry told Daily Mirror yesterday.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa are likely to receive the jab under the ‘elderly group’ which is the third list of people allocated to receive the vaccines while all other politicians will be vaccinated according to the groups which they will fall under, along with all other citizens.
“Up to now the politicians have not been prioritized. They will be coming under different categories. Our health minister will be coming under the front line health worker category. The President and Prime Minister will be coming under the elderly group category. And those MPs who have some core mobilities such as diabetes etc will come under that particular group,” the official explained.
The Health Ministry is preparing to initially vaccinate 20 percent of the population once the first lot of vaccines arrive, and those who will receive the first jab are health care workers and all other front liners including the tri forces and police. The second group will be the port workers, airport workers and all other officials who may risk coming in contact with COVID-19 patients while the elderly and those who suffer from certain illnesses such as diabetes, cancer etc will be allocated in the third lot. The cut off age for the elderly is yet to be finalized.
As soon as the core groups are vaccinated, the vaccination program will then extend into the working community and the other groups. The Health Ministry said that their aim was to vaccinate every citizen as soon as possible. (Jamila Husain)