Colombo, Feb 24 (DailyMirror) – Speaking to Daily Mirror, Epidemiology Unit Director Dr. Samitha Ginige said that 17.6 million people above 12 years of age were eligible for the vaccine; however, the total number administered with the first dose, stood at 16.7 million.
“95.5 percent have received the first dose while 79.8 per cent have been offered the second dose,” he said.
“As far as the booster rollout is concerned, 14.5 million people above 20 years of age are eligible for the booster; however, only 6.6 million have received it, which is 44 percent,” Dr Ginige added.
When questioned as to why people were hesitant to get the booster shot, he said people were taking the COVID-19 threat very lightly now.
Meanwhile, about 1.1 million persons above 60 years of age have not yet received the booster dose despite constant reminders. This is the age group who are prone to complications and succumb to COVID-19.
Dr. Ginige said they were highly concerned over hesitancy shown by the most vulnerable group which could eventually increase COVID related deaths to unprecedented numbers.
“The estimated number of senior citizens stands at 2.7 million out of which the booster dose has been received by 1.6 million. Accordingly, 1.1 million have not yet got their booster dose, which is alarming,” he said.
“Over 80 percent of 202 deaths which occurred within the last seven days, were of senior citizens out of which the majority of them were suffering from chronic diseases. In addition, over 60 percent is of those who have either got two doses or booster dose,” he pointed out.
Thus, Dr. Ginige urged people above 60 years of age to get themselves vaccinated with the booster as it helps them against complications which would probably result in their deaths.