BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has confirmed that booster doses have commenced on frontline workers using the Pfizer vaccine to further strengthen their protection against the Omicron and Delta variants of COVID-19.
In his nation-wide address yesterday he said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has stressed that it is important to be vaccinated to protect against the other widely circulating variants such as the Delta variant.
PM Sogavare said, “So fellow citizens, make sure to get vaccinated. If your vaccination involves two doses, it is important to receive both doses to have the maximum protection.
“We are still witnessing the rapid spread of the Omicron variant in Australia and other neighbouring countries.
“It has the same potential to spread very quickly in Solomon Islands because our vaccination rate is extremely low.
“More than 82 percent of our population is not protected because they are not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated at all.
“If Community transmission occurs in Solomon Islands, we will see a lot more suffering and deaths.
“Information is still limited, but there may be a small reduction in the effectiveness of vaccines against 5 this new variant. However, WHO reports that the currently available vaccines offer significant protection against severe disease and death,” Sogavare said.
He said researchers are still looking into the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against the Omicron variant.