Sri Lanka struggles to vaccinate youngsters showing aversion to China’s Sinopharm

Sri Lanka, which fast-tracked the Covid vaccination drive amid its worst-ever virus surge, has recently opened up vaccines to its young population aged between 20 to 29 years, but the plan seems to have hit a roadblock as youngsters are refusing to take vaccines

Sep 21, 2021
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China’s Sinopharm

Sri Lanka, which fast-tracked the Covid vaccination drive amid its worst-ever virus surge, has recently opened up vaccines to its young population aged between 20 to 29 years, but the plan seems to have hit a roadblock as youngsters are refusing to take vaccines. 

So far, only 40 percent of the people in the category have received vaccines. Many vaccination centers across the country, including in capital Colombo, reported they were receiving no takers, according to a report in the Daily Mirror newspaper. 

Many people are showing aversion to taking Sinopharm, a Chinese vaccine that has been used widely in Sri Lanka, fearing it could create future problems when they travel to western countries. They insist on getting jabbed either by Moderna or Pfizer. 

Others are refusing because of various types of misinformation, including loss of fertility--a claim long dismissed by experts. However, health officials remain concerned over less than expected enthusiasm among the young Population. 

The low turnout, if remains unaddressed, could hamper the government’s plan to fully vaccinate all of its eligible population. 

Over 50 percent of the island nation’s total population is vaccinated with both doses of vaccines. And, over 90 percent of its above 20  population received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. 

Quackery is also growing with some people capitalizing on people’s traditional beliefs and reliance on homegrown alternate medicines. Doctors, meanwhile, have been stressing about getting vaccines, saying alternate medicines aren’t an alternative for vaccines.

Sri Lanka has been in lockdown for over a month time to contain the Covid surged that overwhelmed its health infrastructure. Lately, daily cases came down significantly, with the country reporting just over 1000 cases on Monday. 

(SAM)