BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
There is low vaccination coverage for the 55-years-old and above category, it is reported.
This group also happens to the be regarded as the most-at-risk to covid-19.
Simon Burggraaf, World Health Organisation Honiara Office immunisation specialist, said this group have low coverage in terms of the vaccination unlike the younger age group.
“We have recorded low coverage of the 55 plus age group in terms of our vaccination roll out programmes. I call on everyone who have elderly uncles and aunties, parents and grandparents to come forward and get vaccinated.
“This is a most the at risk age group unlike the younger age group. The old population group are the one that turn to experience the more damaging side effects and mortality,” Burggraaf said.
Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Culwick Togamana early this week said despite the continued push to increase the country’s vaccination coverage since the March 2021 launch, it is extremely disappointing and worrying to note that to date only 47,921 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm, 1st and 2nd dose had been administered. Only 12,183 people had been fully vaccinated, with 1st and 2nd doses.
Togamana said this represents only 2.9 percent of the national target population of 414,327 people. Only 23, 555 people having received their first dose at this point.
He said in Honiara and Guadalcanal province combined, 10,000 plus people have completed their 2nd dose which translates to only 6.9 percent of the target population.
For the Choiseul and Western Provinces, about 3.3 percent and 1.2 percent of target population respectively had received full vaccination. The 2nd dose roll out for Malaita Outer Islands was also conducted last week Togamana stated.
“Fellow Solomon Islanders, the government is extremely concerned about the terribly slow uptake of COVID-19 vaccination in the country to a level that would protect our population from COVID-19 in the event the virus breaches our borders and reach our communities,” he said.