BY SAMIE WAIKORI
Worried communities of Ontong Java are waiting for their second dose of covid-19 vaccine, now more than 12 weeks since their first.
Fears are also exacerbated with reports that the first consignment of AstraZeneca will expire on July 18.
The Malaitan Polynesian outliers were vaccinated in mid-April this year with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
This vaccine requires a second dosage, most preferably 12 weeks after the first.
People on Ontong Java, Malaita Outer Islands (MOI) say during the vaccination drive, government health team touring their atolls promised that nearing 12 weeks after there would be another visit to administer the second dose.
Nearing the twelfth week, and there is no sign of any government health team on their horizon.
This is causing the islanders of MOI to be concerned and to feel insecure, since they are direct frontline citizens facing border crossers from PNG.
Concerned persons from Ontong Java, requesting their names withheld, are asking government through the ministry of Health to explain and give them reassurance over the delay.
“We are now in the first week of July and no assurance yet receives from Malaita provincial health through the MHMS on the second roll-out vaccination doze for our communities.
“The delay is a concern for use because we don’t know much about the impacts of the doze if fail its procedural doze and apparently the exposure of our islands and communities to the outside world.
“In the past months, the community of Luaniua received up to five different boats from the nearby Tasman Island and another foreign sailing boat that demand complete roll-out of the vaccination program for our safety.”
On that note, they also raised that the first consignment of AstraZeneca doze for the second vaccination roll-out programme will expire on July 18, which is just less than two weeks away.
They thank the Malaita provincial health through MHMS and national government for the first covid-19 vaccination roll-out program and they look forward to the second roll-out programme.