Risk of new COVID variants emerging; advised to get 4th jab | Sri Lanka News

Emphasising that there is a risk of a new COVID-19 variant emerging among the people, Health Services Director aGeneral Dr. Asela Gunawardena said the best way to prevent infection from the virus is to get all four doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Addressing the media at the Information Department today, he said the health ministry had requested the public to get the 4th COVID-19 jab after getting the first dose.

At that time, the Ministry had provided the COVID-19 primary vaccine between 97% and 100% for people who were older than 20 years of age. The first dose of the vaccine was received by 7.9 million people. We have asked people to get the fourth vaccine as well.

Obtaining all four vaccine doses will result in minimised risk of contracting the virus, the seriousness of the virus if contracted and will reduce the mortality rate.

All individuals above 60 years of age and those who are seeking to travel overseas must obtain the vaccines. The vaccines can be obtained at all state hospitals, medical offices of health, and stipulated vaccination centres, Dr. Gunawardena said.

Meanwhile, addressing the media, Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Samitha Ginige said the risk of the coronavirus is still prevalent across the world. There is an increase in cases that has been witnessed during the past three weeks. Our country currently records around 10 COVID-19 patients daily and one virus related death weekly.

Dr. Ginige said while school children have been urged to obtain the second vaccine, only a limited number of children have obtained them, adding that one million children between the ages of 12 and 15 have not got the vaccine.

Furthermore, the Immunology and Molecular Medicine Department of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura Prof. Neelika Malavige said the Omicron variant of the coronavirus spread rapidly in January and February, adding the seriousness of the variant was not felt as a majority of the public had obtained at least two vaccinations.

Prof. Malavige said a successful vaccination drive led to a drop in the spread of coronavirus. She said new variants emerge in countries, adding that the variant doesn’t spread owing to the increased immunity levels among populations. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)

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