GMOA presents recommendations to President | Sunday Observer
Covid-19 vaccination program

GMOA presents recommendations to President

5 June, 2021

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) presented recommendations for the Covid-19 vaccination program to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi on June 3.

The GMOA appealed to the President to direct the Epidemiology Unit to produce accurate and updated data on the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, GMOA Secretary Dr. Senal Fernando said. He told the media in Colombo that the Epidemiology Unit does not gather accurate and updated data on the Covid-19 pandemic in the country and, therefore, it is unable to provide data for the Health Ministry and all other stakeholders. The daily Situation Report released by the Health Information Unit of the Health Ministry does not provide crucial information such as on the exact number of those over the age of 60 who have been vaccinated and those who suffer from one or more Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) who had received the jab. According to Dr. Fernando, a proper vaccination program which can be implemented with the available doses of vaccines can reduce the number of Covid-19 deaths by 90 percent. The current disorganised vaccination program carried out by the Epidemiology Unit promotes a false sense of security among those vaccinated and accelerates further the spreading of Covid-19 in the country. Dr. Fernando said that the Epidemiology Unit ignored recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the local authorities in connection with the vaccination program. Priority for the vaccination should be given to people over the age of 60, those who suffer from NCDs, persons in essential services and factory workers. Only then, the country could move forward even under strict travel restrictions, he said.

Sri Lanka needs around 30 million doses of vaccines but can manage successfully with 10 million if the vaccination program is implemented in keeping with WHO and local health guidelines. According to the WHO, nearly 70 percent of the total population should be vaccinated simultaneously to control Covid-19 successfully, he added.