BY ALFRED PAGEPITU
Fifty thousand doses of Sinopharm vaccines arrived around midnight Monday from China.
The airbus left for China on Saturday and returned around 11.45 pm, Monday night.
Present at the Honiara International Airport on Monday night were PRC Ambassador His Excellency Li Ming, Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga, Minister of Health and Medical Services Dr Culwick Togamana, and other health officials, to welcome the vaccine.
Solomon Islands is the first in the Pacific region to received the Chinese-made vaccine.
Speaking at the midnight ceremony, Ambassador Li Ming said that it is a significant moment in relations between China and Solomon Islands.
He said the SinoPharm vaccine, which were donated by the government of People’s Republic of China, arrived in Honiara safe and sound.
“The shipment brought about good will and friendship of the China people towards the Solomon Islands people.
“It bodes well for Solomon Islands’ stronger anti-Covid-19 effects to beat the pandemic and protect human lives and well-beings,” he said.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic is still ravaging around the World, with more than 130 million infection cases and nearly three million deaths.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sogavare, Solomon Islands has made considerable progress in preventing and controlling the Covid-19 virus, without community transmission so far.”
Ambassador Li said China and Solomon Islands have rendered valuable support to each other in the battle against the pandemic.
“Chines President Xi Jinping said that, the Chinese vaccine, once being well developed and put into use, will be made a global public good and contribute to the vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.
“China played its due role as a responsible major country. The safety, efficacy and effectiveness of vaccines made in China have been fully tested in and outside of clinical trials.”