Who is eligible for COVID-19 vaccination?
Health and front line workers
Elderly population (aged 60 years and above)
People with chronic illnesses
People aged 30 – 60 years in a step-wise manner
Those aged 18 years and above in a step-wise manner
Who is not eligible for vaccination?
Mothers breastfeeding in first 6 months following delivery
Those below 18 years of age
Vaccines are very important in preventing illness and disease due to COVID-19. This is especially so in the current situation where pandemic fatigue is widely seen in practicing COVID preventive behaviours, including physical distancing and reducing social interactions ,which though crucial in curbing infection, are unable to sustainably control disease spread. In this background, the uptake of vaccines, as they are offered, is extremely important in slowing and ending the pandemic.
COVID-19 Vaccines being offered are safe and effective and will be available to all those eligible for vaccination in a phased manner.
Vaccination is extremely important. Equally important is the continuation of COVID Appropriate Behaviours, in providing maximum protection from COVID-19 infection.
Maximum protection offered by the COVID-19 vaccine will be seen only about 2 weeks following completion of recommended vaccine doses, which is usually 2. Even then, it must be remembered that no vaccine is 100% effective.
Thus, COVID Appropriate Behaviors must continue to be strictly followed, to achieve full protection even after vaccination, to be safe from COVID-19.
All citizens will be vaccinated in due course, but health care providers, front-line workers and at-risk groups will be prioritised.
It is essential that identified groups and geographies are prioritized, as there is an imbalance not only in Sri Lanka, but globally, between vaccine supply and demand.
Following this prioritization is in the interest of all of us.
Benefits of getting the vaccine
There are very significant benefits of vaccination, though protection is not 100% with vaccination alone. These benefits are;
Lowers chance of infection with COVID-19
Less severe disease, less complications, less chance of needing hospitalization, even if infected after vaccination
Lowers chance of death due to COVID-19
Lowers transmission of COVID-19
Medical advice from health care staff must be obtained before vaccination if;
You had an allergic reaction previously to a vaccine
You have had severe allergy to other medicine or food (requiring hospitalization)
Citizens will be notified in advance when they are scheduled to receive the vaccine.
Do not be anxious about the availability of the vaccine. Wait for your turn.
Do not be misled by fake vaccine marketing/promotions, as the COVID-19 vaccine is not available in the open markets yet.
If you are unwell at the time of your scheduled vaccine dose, it is best to wait until you have recovered.
You should not attend a vaccination appointment if you are self-isolating or waiting for a COVID-19 test result.
Common side effects such as fever and body ache, if they occur will usually subside within 1-2 days. Some will have no side effects. Not experiencing side effects does not mean the vaccine is ineffective.
Major side effects are very rare, though they can occur with any vaccine.
Vaccination will help protect us and our loved ones. So, let’s do our part with getting vaccinated and continuing COVID preventive behaviours!