Prime Minister Manasseh Sogvare has announced today that he’s willing to take up the COVID-19 vaccination in response to social media calls for leaders to be amongst those who take up the vaccine:
Speaking today on national radio, Sogavare said: “I have seen a lot of commentaries on our social media for leaders including myself to first receive the vaccine before the general populace. It is said, this will demonstrate our confidence in the safety of the vaccine.
In this regard, I assure you all that I will willingly take the COVID-19 vaccine when my turn comes to demonstrate my confidence in the safety of the vaccine which will also offer me protection from COVID-19.”
Sogavare reveals today that the first orders for the AstraZeneca vaccine had been placed by UNICEF through its supply division.
“We expect to receive the first tranche of 24,000 doses of the Vaccine this month. Training has commenced on the administration of the vaccine. Venues have also been identified to roll out the vaccine after its arrival,” he said.
“AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved by the World Health Organization for emergency use. The WHO approval gives us the confidence that it is safe and effective to protect the recipient from COVID-19,” he said.
Sogavare further states that the Government is also considering other Vaccines including the Sinopharm vaccine.
“We will also be receiving 20,000 does of this vaccine in April and will also roll it out as soon as the World Health Organisation approves it for emergency use,” he said.
Sogavare states that it is also the wish of his government that the people living along the western border will benefit from the first roll out of either of the two vaccines “we anticipate in the country by April this year.”
“With the rapidly worsening COVID-19 situation on Bougainville, we must include COVID-19 vaccination along the border communities in addition to our efforts to prevent people from crossing the border from Bougainville to Solomon Islands,” he said.