BY BEN BILUA
WESTERN Province yesterday launched the much-awaited Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, attracting a good number of front-liners, provincial officials, nurses, church leaders and related stakeholders who got their first shot.
Speaking during the launching, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Pauline Boseto McNeil said the vaccination is an important process in response to covid-19 preparedness.
She acknowledges the premier of Western Province, David Gina and his executive for the support towards the vaccination programme.
McNeil also acknowledged the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force in Western Province, chiefs of Shortland Islands and church leaders for supporting the programme.
“Solomon Islands kicked of its respond effort towards COVID-19 and its satisfying that there is no community transmission.
“Today we give another opportunity for our people. The vaccine is safe as it had gone through UN verification and approved to be used worldwide.
“The vaccination is for you to protect your families and communities.
“You have made your oaths to serve our people and this is the time to show our duties,” she said.
McNeil said some front-liners have the hesitancy to get vaccinated for some reasons but world record has it that risks are very minimal; adding, the vaccine has gone through thorough deliberation by World Health Organisation.
She adds that the national COVID-19 vaccination team has established a high level procedures to make sure those vaccinated are well taken care.
McNeil acknowledges leaders who willingly got vaccinated.
Speaking on behalf of the Premier, Supervising Premier, Isaac Vula Tatapu expressed the province’s gratitude to the government through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services for enabling the roll out of COVID-19 vaccination in Western Province.
“I on behalf of the people and government of Western Province, congratulate the national government, the oversight committee and other line government ministries especially the Ministry of Health and Medical Services for your effort in keeping our people safe.
“This is a very huge step towards the prevention of COVID-19 in Western Province and Solomon Islands,” he said
Tatapu said COVID-19 threat has continued to increase in the world so as in the region with most countries suffered economically and physiologically.
“Some of our pacific neighbors, COVID-19 has burdened their health system and economy.
“As we learn and hear from experiences, it gives as insight of the impact it can bring in development countries like Solomon Islands,” he said.
Tatapu said Solomon Islands is not immune to such issues as such preparation is key to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Director of Western Province Health and Medical Services Doctor Dickson Boara said the launching of the vaccination program marks a milestone for Western Province in terms of COVID-19 preparedness.
He adds that the roll out of the vaccination program is a huge achievement in protecting front-liners and also the people of Western Province
Boara said there has been lots of work, dedication that led up to the launching of the vaccination program and that the launching display commitments rendered by the National government through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and Western Provincial government.
He said Western Provincial Front-liners, provincial government and stakeholders will continue to support efforts toward enforcing COVID-19 measures in the province.