The Premier of Makira Ulawa Province, Julian Maka’a has officially launched the Province’s COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Program in Kira Kira, the Provincial Capital.
In his special official opening remarks September 9, 2021, Mr Maka’a said COVID-19 pandemic which is increasing every day has become a great concern for “my Province and our Solomon Islands”.
He said the World Health Organisation has reported that World-wide a total of 221, 134,742 confirmed cases and 4,574,089 deaths, adding the data has already changed.
And Mr Maka’a said in the Pacific Region, “Our neighboring countries, especially Fiji is facing a problem with combating the disease as COVID-19 Delta Variant has gone into community transmission, with cases increasing daily”.
He said according to WHO Fiji has recorded a total of 47,993 confirmed cases and 520 deaths and the report has raised a great worry and the need to vaccinate “our people aged 18 years and above is of high priority.
“I, as a father of Makira Ulawa Province appeal to the eligible people to come forward to get your vaccination injections.
“For people to get their COVID-19 immunization vaccination is the way forward to protect themselves, your families, communities, the Province and the nation as a whole.
“Let us not worry about the rumors that discourage people from coming forward to get vaccinated, because the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective and can protect us to prevent the severe form of COVID-19 infection and from hospitalization, death from the deadly disease”.
Mr Maka’a then called on his people to support the health workers who tirelessly give their time to carry out the rollout vaccine program in the Province, adding people must not miss their doses but take them when their turns come.
And he also thanked the Provincial Disaster Operation Centre, the Provincial Health Emergency Operation Committee, the Provincial Health Team and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services for their continuing support in ensuring the country is safe and free from COVID-19.
Mr Maka’a assures his people that his Government fully supports the program and is committed to ensure that eligible people are fully immunized against COVID-19.
However, Premier Maka’a accused residents of Kira Kira of disobeying COVID-19 measures his provincial government had set up as efforts to stop the deadly corona virus from arriving here.
He said one of the measures was for players of the mobile game known as “ludo” not to play it because it attracted people to gather.
He said despite the measure being in place, ludo players continued to gather at the Kira Kira Market and in various sites to play the game for financial gains.
But Mr Maka’a who was the first to be vaccinated that day said it is important for people to be vaccinated against the deadly virus, adding it is the people’s moral responsibility to support the program in the fight against COVID-19.
He said public participation in the vaccination against the deadly pandemic program is not only important to “you my people but also to Solomon Islands, but it is also important to donors whose governments have spent millions of dollars to secure the vaccine”.
Meanwhile, the Makira Ulawa Provincial Health Director, John Harara said the roll out vaccination program against COVID-19 in the Province aims to actively vaccinate the 27,000 eligible population of the Province.
He attributed a statement made by the National Minister of Health and Medical Services that there is no time to waste, but health workers should expedite all preparations for the mass COVID-10 vaccination roll out.
Mr Harara said one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be used in the immunization of Solomon Islanders, with 3,400 doses now in Kira Kira for the initial roll out, and more batches are being prepared by the National Medical Store in Honiara for deployment to Makira Ulawa Province.
He said therefore, the health roll-out teams are now rolling out the AstraZeneca vaccination.
Mr Harara then reiterated that the Provincial Health systems, capacity and capability are no way near being able to respond to a community outbreak, let alone the National Health system.
He said, “We do not need to look far beyond our region to understand the magnitude of COVID-19 impacts, our Melanesian neighbor Fiji with advanced health systems is suffering from the devastation of the deadly pandemic with the Delta Variant”.
Mr Harara said to date Fiji and Papua New Guinea with better facilities have large scale community outbreaks of COVID-19 Delta Variant.
How much more will the deadly Delta Variant impacts have on the Province with inadequate health facilities in the event of community outbreaks?, he asked.
Mr Harara said the vaccine therefore offers “us a wonderful opportunity to stay protected against COVID-19”.
He then said, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services would like to thank those who have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, and at the same time, request them to support its promotion by spreading the good news that it is safe for people to use and it can protect them against COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Makira Ulawa Provincial Disaster Operations Centre and Acting Provincial Police Commander, Jerry Muaki said the launch of the COVID-19 Immunization Program Sept 9, 2021 began the Province’s fight against the deadly global pandemic.
He said the vaccination rollout is a blessing to the people of the Province because they can still do what they have to do as they are protected from COVID-19, which does not have borders, neither the care about anyone and everyone.
Mr Muaki said the front-liners in the fight against the global pandemic will surely have confidence in their task to fight COVID-19.
He said the increasing COVID-19 cases globally and regionally shows the Province is not safe from the killer once it is transmitted to communities.
But Mr Muaki said the immunization vaccine against COVID-19 is the way forward for the country and the province because infection, hospitalization and death will be reduced.
He added as Chairman of PDOC, he would not hide the Province does not have the health sector manpower and facilities to handle an outbreak of the deadly corona virus in the province.
And Mr Muaki said, if the target group of 18 years old and above in the province are fully immunized, they can still take part in whatever they want to do even if COVID-19 is around.
He added, COVID-19 is the work of evil, but he commended the foreign countries whose medical scientists have worked tirelessly to develop the vaccine, therefore he pleaded people to turn up for the immunization injection.
More than one thousand people within and surround Kirakira came to witness the launching. 155 doses were given in the afternoon during the launching while 205 were given prior the launching total to 363 japs given altogether.