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Sri Lanka gives booster shots to front-line workers, seniors

The booster rollout comes ahead of Sri Lanka government's plans to lift monthslong travel restrictions between provinces on November 1. | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena
AP Colombo 23 October 2021 14:44 IST
Updated: 23 October 2021 14:44 IST

So far, 59% of the 22 million population have been vaccinated in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka on Saturday announced plans to offer booster shots to front-line workers followed by the elderly as the island nation gears up to further ease COVID-19 restrictions.

Starting November 1, workers in the health, security, airport and tourism sectors will start receiving a third dose of vaccine, said Channa Jayasumana, the State Minister of Pharmaceutical Production, supply and regulation.

The Pfizer booster shots will then include those above 60 years, he said.

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So far, 59% of the 22 million population have been vaccinated, and the Health Ministry expects the rate to rise to 70% within three weeks.

The booster rollout comes ahead of the government's plans to lift monthslong travel restrictions between provinces on November 1. The government has also announced that train service that has been halted for nearly two months would restart next week.

Sri Lanka lifted a six-week lockdown on October 1 and since then, life has begun returning to normal with the reopening of cinemas, restaurants and wedding parties as COVID-19 daily cases fell to below 1,000 with less than 50 deaths.

However, a ban on public gatherings continues along with some restrictions on public transport.

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