BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
THE national vaccination coverage rate currently stands at 47 percent.
Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Culwick Togamana confirmed this.
âThe vaccination program has faced many challenges leading to lower coverage,â Togamana said.
âFor instance the national coverage level of covid-19 in two doses is 47 percent and of those aged 18 years and over nearly one third of population of Solomon Islands, 18 years and above is vaccinated with at least one dose,â he added.
Togamana highlighted that there is also high hesitancy to vaccination expressed by Solomon Islanders towards vaccination in the country.
âAnd am sad to say that I received chains of communication amongst my technical medical doctors who are still debating and throwing ideas why vaccine is not necessary etc. It is very sad,â Togamana said.
He added they have to keep emphasising this because covid-19 vaccination have started a year ago on March 2021- enough time for the country to achieve full vaccination of the target population.
âSo sad we havenât achieved that,â Togamana said.
He said people must take the vaccines when they are healthy before getting the disease.
âComplacency and hesitancy had contributed to the lower uptake of COVID-19 vaccines.
âWhen the Delta and Omicron waves battered the country, many had no immunity against the virus and suffered severe disease and death.
âEven 144 deaths reported are too many for the country, but we think the actual number could be even higher. âWe are receiving feedback from the vaccination teams that more people are now coming forward to get COVID-19 vaccines,â Togamana said