Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare.
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Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has labelled social media counter-information against covid-19 vaccines as “outright lies”.

“The untruth and myths about covid-19 vaccine circulated in social media to cause fear are outright lies,” he said.

He listed three of such myths, countering them with explanations to disprove them.

Microchips/magnet myth

The first myth is covid-19 vaccines contain microchips or magnets to monitor people.

“Fellow citizens this is an outright lie and has no basis. Microchips are made of metals, vaccines are liquid and their developments went through very strict research and production protocol,” Sogavare said.

Mark of the Beast/666

He said the second myth says that covid-19 vaccines are associated with the number 666 or Mark of the Beast in the Bible.

“This is another outright lie. We are a Christian country our heavenly father has given us knowledge and wisdom in order to help and save human kind not to destroy.

“Covid-19 vaccine is the only thing that has the chance to break the cycle of the covid-19 pandemic and bring it to an end. What God allows is for his children to develop and help his people it’s a gift from God.

“Many of our church leaders in all denomination have already taken their covid-19 vaccination. I encouraged all of us Christians to follow their examples,” Sogavare said.

Biological warfare

He says the third false information states that covid-19 vaccine is a biological weapon to reduce human population.

Sogavare said this is a lie – “this world does not need a biological weapon to reduce the world’s population”.

“It is a sad reality that the majority of deaths in this world and indeed in Solomon Islands come not from vaccines but from many of the things we take granted; that is our food, smoking and alcohol for instance,” he said.

World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that 41 million people die each year in this world from non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, cancers.

These deaths are due to NCDs not vaccines, he said.

“Fellow Solomon Islanders we must move away from myths and rumours designed to destroy our confidence and create doubt about one weapon that this world has at its disposal to bring this pandemic under control and that is the vaccine.

“Don’t not believe the rumours and myths going around about the covid-19 vaccines used in Solomon Islands. Listen and follow the advice of our health experts and authorities at the Ministry of Health including technical agencies supporting us such as the WHO and UNICEF.

“I reiterate my call for everyone in the country that is above 18 years old to come forward and get vaccinated when the vaccination team come to your areas,” he said.

Sogavare uttered this earlier this week in his national address following reports that some people are creating and circulating false information about covid-19 and circulating this in social media to cause fear, confusion, hesitancy or outright resistance to covid-19 vaccine.