ALL persons living in Honiara and on Guadalcanal who are 18 and above are welcome to visit the Central Field Hospital in Honiara for their COVID-19 vaccination.
Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) made the invitation, Monday.
“Essential workers, including public transport drivers and crews you are strongly advised to also come forward for vaccination,” the ministry said in a statement.
It added the decision by the COVID-19 Vaccine National Coordinating Committee (NCC) to open vaccination for this group was reached after assessing current status of vaccination coverage for all frontliners, vaccination of people with underlying disease and vaccination coverage along the western borderline communities.
“The decision was also based on the operational and logistics challenges and the cost of rolling out the vaccine.
“In total over 15,000 doses of COVID-19, vaccines have been administered so far.
“In Honiara the initial 7000 doses of AstraZeneca allocation for the capital were fully utilized, in fact over 7000 doses were administered with a coverage of over 70 to 80 percent of all frontline health workers including all other frontliners.”
The statement said in Western Province, vaccination was carried out for all frontline workers, which also included public figures such as community and church leaders in Gizo, Noro and Munda were also vaccinated.
In Shortlands, the target group was entire population 18 years and above and nearly 80% of the population has received their first vaccine.
“All communities were reached with COVID-19 vaccines and all eligible persons who came forward received their first jab.
“In Choiseul, vaccination has reached all 6 catchment areas or group of communities facing the western border.
Over 3,000 people vaccinated in these catchment areas; however, the vaccine uptake has been low (34%).
“We have still kept some doses of AstraZeneca vaccine for launching campaigns in near future.
“With this, we would like to inform that there are still some frontliners and persons 18 years and above along the western border that still needed to get their first vaccine dose.”
However, the statement said health cannot simply put on halt all other groups simply to wait for them, thus roll out for all 18 years and above will now commence in Honiara, Guadalcanal and then Western Province, MOI, Choiseul, and other provinces.
“With the current vaccination at the Central Field Hospital, 25,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine were available and since the launch of the Sinopharm vaccine last week Friday, nearly 2000 doses have been administered meaning less than 23,000 doses now available.
“Therefore, health is calling on all persons 18 years and above in Honiara and parts of Guadalcanal that can easily access the Central Field Hospital to come forward and receive your COVID-19 jabs.
“We are also working on the outreach programmes to reach far off communities to promote vaccination.
“Second round of vaccination for all persons who have received their first dose of AstraZeneca will commence as of Wednesday this week.
“However, your date is flexible and you can come for vaccination anytime within 2 weeks of your dose being due.
“For any further information pertaining to vaccination at the Central Field Hospital please call our toll free line, 115 and speak to one of our operators who will direct you to the best person available to address your needs.”