Fifty thousand Australian-made AstraZeneca doses arrived in Solomon Islands yesterday on a flight from Brisbane – the largest single consignment of AstraZeneca doses yet to arrive in Solomon Islands from anywhere in the world.
Australia is delivering on its pledge to provide Solomon Islands with up to 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This is the second shipment of Australian-made vaccines to arrive in Solomon Islands, following the 13,000 doses which were delivered on June 11. These 50,000 doses form part of Australia’s pledge to work with the Solomon Islands’ Government to provide a steady, reliable, and safe supply of vaccines to help protect the community and those on the frontline.
Australian High Commissioner Dr Lachlan Strahan said his office has been working in close partnership with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services on the vaccine roll-out to ensure these doses and future consignments are available when they are needed and can be administered in accordance with the Solomon Island Government’s vaccination roll-out strategy.
“Australia’s pledge of up to 1 million doses of AstraZeneca means there will be enough safe and effective vaccine doses to ensure the entire Solomon Islands population over 18 can get vaccinated. This consignment of 50,000 doses is the first of many more batches on their way from CSL in Melbourne,” Mr Strahan said.
Underscoring the importance of vaccination when the Delta strain is affecting countries all over the world, Strahan said, “The Solomon Island Government has done a great job to date in the fight against COVID-19, but with the Delta strain in our region, it’s time for all of us redouble our efforts. The Delta strain is more much more transmissible and possibly more virulent. Sadly, it’s wreaking havoc in our own region. The health and economic impacts of COVID-19 can’t be underestimated.”
“Now more than ever, we must urge everyone, in the strongest possible terms, to get the jab to help protect their families, friends, workmates and neighbours. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Listen to scientific advice, not nonsensical and utterly false conspiracy theories. The AstraZeneca vaccine can help us protect each other. It’s 92 per cent effective against the Delta strain with two doses,” said Strahan.
Solomon Islands and Australia are committed to working together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This consignment of AstraZeneca doses forms part of Australia’s broader commitment to help vaccinate quickly our friends and neighbours in the Pacific at a time when the international supply of vaccines is constrained.
Australia’s support for a Pacific response to the global pandemic builds on our longstanding and ongoing investment in health services and combating other infectious and non-communicable disease threats.
–AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION