Bolstering SI’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout through enhanced data collection

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Timely input and sharing of accurate and up-to-date data on the progress of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout across the country is crucial towards current health efforts in rolling out COVID-19 vaccines.

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Decisions around where to focus attention, strengthen risk communication, timely distribution of vaccines to the provinces are all dependent on available data. Accurate and up-to-date data will ensure timely and appropriate health interventions into areas where assistance is needed.

The current capacity for timely input, management and sharing of vaccination data from across the country has been bolstered today with the formal handing over of 31 laptops by the Australian Government to MHMS which will be deployed to the vaccination teams working hard across the provinces.

At the handover, Australia’s acting High Commissioner to Solomon Islands Ms Sally-Anne Vincent said she was pleased to have responded to the ministry’s request for the rapid procurement of this equipment.

“We recognise that the ability to connect and communicate information across the country is essential for the Ministry’s work, especially with the current COVID-19 vaccine rollout hence our response to the request by the ministry for additional laptops to the provinces. This will enable tracking of up-to-date vaccination data and timely sharing of vaccination progresses from across the country”,

“We are also working to provide video conferencing equipment which is expected to arrive in Honiara shortly. This will help enhance planning processes and information sharing throughout the provinces”, confirmed Ms Vincent.

As part of its broad and ongoing support towards the current vaccine rollout in Solomon Islands, Australia has also provided 113,000 doses of Australian-made AstraZeneca vaccines. Australia stands ready to deliver additional doses as required.

In receiving the laptops, MHMS Permanent Secretary Mrs Pauline McNeil thanked the government of Australia for the support stating that timely reporting of vaccination data from the provinces has been a challenge due to a lack of laptops at hand for data entry officers.

“In most cases they have to write it down on paper and later once they return to their work station and desktop computers, they then make the inputs into the health’s online database system so this takes time out in the field can range from a whole day to two or even weeks”,

“Having the laptops will enable our data entry officers, to make inputs into the online database in real time which the national office can easily access for swift decision making and action but also for communication to the general public so that everyone is on board with our COVID-19 vaccination progress. Thank you indeed to the government and people of Australia for this support”, said Mrs. McNeil.

The Health Permanent Secretary also urged data entry officers to take good care of the laptops as they are freely provided and ensure that they are utilised according to their purposes.

Solomon Islands and Australia remain committed to working closely to improve COVID-19 preparedness and resilience.

We encourage all Solomon Islanders to look out for the vaccination teams as they pass through your province, and fully protect yourself, your family and your community against COVID-19 by getting both doses of the vaccine.

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