BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
SINOPHARM COVID-19 vaccine has been officially launched and rolled out with the first shot of this vaccine received by Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga.
The official launch of this vaccine marks another key milestone in our fight against COVID-19 and the current ongoing work to vaccinate all eligible persons in our beloved country, Solomon Islands.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare during the launch of the vaccine said he expressed sincere gratitude and appreciation to the President of China Xi Jing Ping, the people and government of China for positively responding to Solomon Islands request with the allocation of 50,000 Sinopharm doses for people.
“Speaking of roll out, Sinopharm roll out will also be in line with the COVID-19 Vaccine National Deployment and Roll- Out Plan that was also used in the roll out of AstraZeneca. We will continue to prioritize remaining COVID-19 operations frontline workers and support staff in Honiara and the provinces, including essential workers.
There are also some of our students who plan to return to China for study including other Chinese nationals who plan to travel to China, thus will be offered the Sinopharm Vaccines. People above 40 years of age and those with co-existing other diseases will also be included in the roll out following the first group to be covered. We will also take into consideration other factors such as operational and logistic issues in the roll out of this and other vaccines so as to provide most benefit to our populations,” Sogavare said.
He said the 50,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine will be administered to 25,000 people because it requires two doses to be administered at an interval of 4 weeks. Meaning those who receive their first dose of Sinopharm will in less than four weeks receive their second dose to complete their COVID-19 vaccination.
“We will continue to monitor any adverse events that may follow the administration of vaccine and will regularly share this information with you
“I join the Minister of Health to call on all those who have and will be receiving the COVID-19 vaccines to share their testimonies and stories of vaccination to their friends and family members so that when their time comes, they too can willingly come forward to receive their COVID-19 jab,” Sogavare said.
LI Ming Ambassador to China’s Embassy in Solomon Islands said on 11 April 2021, 50000 vaccines arrive in Honiara safe and sound.
“Today (yesterday) we gather to put all our efforts on the ground implement and the launch the Sinopharm vaccine rollout plan. That means the people of Solomon Islands will have access to more vaccine to protect themselves and their families,” Ming said
He said having the DPM to become the first to receive this vaccine shows confidence in the vaccine.
“I take this opportunity to again congratulate the honorable Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on the successful launch of the Sinopharm vaccine,” Ming said.
He said it is highlight appreciated that DPM Maelanga and Minister for Health and Medical Services (MHMS) Dr Culwick Togamana welcomed the arrival of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine at the Honiara International airport.
The official launch was held yesterday at the Central Field Hospital, Multipurpose Hall.