BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
Individuals who wish to go overseases as seasonal workers are being urged to vaccinate before leaving Solomon Islands for Australia and New Zealand.
Dr Yogesh Choudhri, Advisor to Ministry of Health and Medical Services echoed the above sentiment in a recent radio talkback on covid-19 updates on SIBC.
Choudhri said the Ministry of Health is advocating for everyone travelling out to be vaccinated before departure.
“We are strongly encouraging people who are going overseas, the seasonal workers especially to come and get their vaccination done at the Central Field Hospital,” he said.
Choudhri said they have vaccinated a few people who are going overseas as seasonal workers to Australia and New Zealand due to the company they will work under requires people to be vaccinated before they go to New Zealand and Australia.
“But rest of the companies do not make it mandatory. We are encouraging you if you are going out please get your vaccination done and you go out,” he said.
Health Permanent Secretary Pauline McNeil said apart from the vaccination some countries also require pre-departure testing so the ministry of health does pre-departure testing for people who are traveling out.
“I am sure the seasonal workers would have done that as well for the pre-departure testing as well as fully vaccinated before they travel,” McNeil said.
She stressed this comes under collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs because it’s a mobility programme.
McNeil said in terms of the vaccine time frames (before the next dose), Sinopharm is four weeks and AstraZeneca is 10-12 weeks, hence the planning and scheduling process is quite crucial.