National vaccination coverage at 47 percent 

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THE national vaccination coverage rate currently stands at 47 percent.

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Culwick Togamana confirmed this.

“The vaccination program has faced many challenges  leading to lower coverage,” Togamana said.

“For 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,” he added.

Togamana highlighted that there is also high hesitancy to vaccination expressed by Solomon Islanders towards vaccination in the country.

“And 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,” 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.

“So sad we haven’t achieved that,” Togamana said.

He said people must take the vaccines when they are healthy before getting the disease.

“Complacency and hesitancy had contributed to the lower uptake of COVID-19 vaccines.

“When the Delta and Omicron waves battered the country, many had no immunity against the virus and suffered severe disease and death.

“Even 144 deaths reported are too many for the country, but we think the actual number could be even higher. “We are receiving feedback from the vaccination teams that more people are now coming forward to get COVID-19 vaccines,” Togamana said