BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
YESTERDAY cabinet approved the national policy on covid-19 vaccination.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, in his national address said, “I am pleased to inform you all that my Cabinet has approved the National Policy on covid-19 vaccination yesterday afternoon.”
He said following the approval the Ministry of Health and Medical Services with the support from the COVID-19 National Coordinating Committee and its Technical Working Group on Vaccines have been directed by Cabinet to finalise the implementation plan for rolling out the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Solomon Islands.
Sogavare said the impact of the covid-19 vaccines in reducing both the numbers of new cases of covid-19 infections as well as the seriousness of covid-19 infections is nothing short of miraculous in many countries that had rolled out their vaccination programmes.
He said there is still a lot more work needs to be done in finalising the country’s roll out plans but early information on the levels of side effects have been extremely encouraging and on the level of protection extremely heartening
“It is our hope that of much of the world’s populations can be vaccinated this year, so that we could perhaps see a return to some normality in travel by 2022.
“To date we have been offered 108,000 does of the AstraZeneca vaccine by the COVAX Facility. My government is in the process of negotiating procurement of additional doses of the vaccine,” said Sogavare.
He said at the moment the detail plans to roll out the vaccine is in progress.
Sogavare stressed a communication strategy to support awareness about the vaccine programme is also being finalised by the Ministry of Health. This includes important information about the vaccine target groups for the first vaccination.
“Awareness information about covid-19 vaccines and our vaccination programme will start to appear on all media channels from this week,” he said.