Keheliya Rambukwella

Minister Rambukwella injects false glory on Sri Lanka’s Covid vaccinations

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In terms of administering both doses of the vaccine, as of yesterday [January 1], we rank 4th in the world; as the highest percentage from the eligible population, we rank 4th out of 194 countries in the world.

Daily Mirror Online | January 2, 2022

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False

Fact Check

To check this claim, FactCheck.lk consulted Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health and Our World in Data (OWID) statistics on COVID-19 vaccinations. 

The eligible population that the minister refers to is defined in Sri Lanka as those over 16. Therefore, the minister’s statement claims that Sri Lanka ranks 4th in the world in terms of the percentage of the over 16 population that has received at least two doses of the vaccine. 

Global comparison is possible against the total population or the population above 14. At the time the minister made his statement (1 January 2022), Sri Lanka had vaccinated 85.25% of the over 16 population, which was 64.41% of the total population. At the same time, 56 countries had vaccinated a greater percentage than Sri Lanka of the total population, and at least 45 countries had also vaccinated a greater percentage than Sri Lanka of the above 16 population. This is derived by recognising that a country that has vaccinated a greater percentage of the above 14 population has necessarily vaccinated a greater percentage of the above 16 population. 

Not only does Sri Lanka not rank in the top 5 but also ranks below the top 45 countries in the world in double vaccination of both the population above 16 as well as the total population. Therefore, we classify the minister’s statement as FALSE. 

*FactCheck.lk’s verdict is based on the most recent information that is publicly accessible. As with every fact check, if new information becomes available, FactCheck.lk will revisit the assessment.  



Sources

Our World In Data, Statistics and Research, Coronavirus, vaccinations data set, available at:   https://github.com/owid/covid-19-data/tree/master/public/data/vaccinations  [last accessed 9 February 2022] 

Our World In Data, Statistics and Research, Population by broad age group, available at: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/population-by-broad-age-group?country=~OWID_WRL  [last accessed 9 February 2022] 

Official website of the Epidemiology Unit, Ministry of Health, Progress of COVID-19 Immunization [as at 01 January 2022], available at: https://www.epid.gov.lk/web/images/pdf/corona_vaccination/covid_vaccination_2022-01_01.pdf [last accessed 9 February 2022]. 

Official website for Sri Lanka’s government response to Covid-19, Vaccination Statistics, Vaccination District Summary, available at: https://covid19.gov.lk/vaccination-statistics.html [last accessed 8 February 2022] 

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