The Sinopharm vaccine has been launched in Honiara with the Deputy Prime Minister, Manasseh Maelanga, and several ministers, senior government officials and local Chinese leaders taking their jabs today.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was the guest of honor as he launched the 50,000 doses vaccine and declared it ready for use. This is after the World Health Organisation had approved it for use just recently.
Sogavare described as another milestone today’s event adding that the government has continued to do its best in protecting its citizens from COVID-19.
He recalled that about two months ago he stood at the same place (outside field hospital at Multipurpose hall) to launch the vaccination roll out programme. This was when he launched the Azra-Zenecca vaccine 21,000 doses with 14,000 being used at the western border.
Reiterating his message, Sogavare appeals to all leaders to be the first to be vaccinated as a first line of defence.
Today his deputy Maelanga was the first to take the shot.
Referring to the vaccination by the DPM, Sogavare said: “This is leadership. This is leadership in crucial time.”
Meanwhile he said the launch marks another milestone in his government’s efforts to vaccinate all eligible 18 years and above people in the country.
At the same time Sogavare has commended China and expressed his graduate to their President for the support to Solomon Islands.
“Today I stand to express sincere gratitude and appreciation to the President of China Xi Jing Ping, the people and government of China for positively responding to our request with the allocation of 50,000 Sinopharm doses for our people,” he said.
According to the Prime Minister, the Sinopharm roll out will also be in line with the COVID-19 Vaccine National Deployment and Roll- Out Plan that was also used in the roll out of AstraZeneca.
“We will continue to prioritize remaining COVID-19 operations frontline workers and support staff in Honiara and the provinces, including essential workers,” the Prime Minister stated.