Wale calls on gov’t to re-strategize vax rollout program
OPPOSITION Leader Hon Matthew Wale has called on the Government to re-strategize its vaccination rollout program with the aim of making it safe and accessible.
The Opposition Leader welcomes the decision by the Health Ministry to close all vaccination sites but disagrees that the closure should be indefinite.
Hon. Wale said it should not take too long to recruit double vaccinated security personnel to support vaccination centers to ensure social distancing in the queues.
He said overcrowding and the lack of social distancing at vaccination centers has been a problem right from the beginning, and it is disappointing that it has taken the government this long to address it.
But Hon Wale said it is better late than never.
He said it is entirely possible that the queues at the vaccination centers have helped to spread covid-19 over the recent days.
“Law enforcement may need to provide support to vaccination centers to ensure there is respect for social distancing and order,” he said.
The Leader of Opposition also urges the Government to work with community leaders, Churches and the private sector in the vaccination roll out plan to ensure better understanding and cooperation in communities.
Hon Wale said some of the strategies worth considering should also include;
- A systematic thorough house to house vaccination visitation scheme
- Prioritizing vaccines to older population and those with underlying health conditions
- Developing an app to be downloaded onto mobile phones to enable more efficient vaccination, ID, and passes for access to services
- Multiple drive-through vaccination centres throughout Honiara
- Enlist private clinics, GPs, & pharmacies to also help vaccinate people
Similarly, the Opposition Leader said the lack of coordination between the Government and business houses have also seen overcrowding at western unions, banks and shops.
Surely, he said these avoidable risks can be mitigated by better coordination.
Hon Wale said Government authorities need to pull up their socks.
“It seems that everyone is not on the same page and everyone is working in isolation resulting in lack of coordination and cooperation. I know front liners are working very hard under the most difficult circumstances with very little resources, but laxity, laziness, chaos, and a no-care attitude are threats that must be eliminated” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Wale said whilst vaccination remains a priority, our health experts should also look into the possibility of purchasing two new drugs recommended by the WHO namely Baricitinib and Sotromivab.
According to WHO these two newly approved drugs for COVID-19 provide yet more options for treating the disease.
Hon. Wale said treatment options are critical to ensure low hospitalisation and death rates, given the high infection rate in our country.
“The government must not rely on donors for these treatment drugs but procure them urgently,” he said.