BY ALFRED PAGEPITU
PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare is again urging citizens to take the vaccine.
A Government communications unit (GCU) statement yesterday said Mr Sogavare brushed aside reports from the European Medicine Agency (EMA) linking blood clots to the AstraZeneca vaccine as ‘unsubstantiated’.
He however said the vaccination rollout will continue, encouraging citizens to step forward and take the jab.
In his Monday nationwide address, Sogavare said, “My good people of Solomon Islands, there have been reports linking the occurrence of clotting disorders with the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“The global scientific community and the World Health Organisation have only discovered 78 cases of blood clotting episodes out of over 200 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines administered throughout the world.
“They also could not establish a direct co-relation between the taking of the vaccine and the blood clotting episodes.
“Our COVID-19 vaccine technical working group comprising of Ministry of Health and Medical Services, World Health Organisations and UNICEF health and immunisation experts have continually reviewed global literature as well as our own records to date and our conclusion is that AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and its roll-out will continue.
“As I have stated before, every vaccine has side-effects. Just like every medicine have side effects.
“The most important thing is that we must be ready and prepared to pick up any side effect when it occurs and deal with it promptly so that those affected are assisted if there is a need for this to occur.
“In this regard I am happy to advise that our health people are capable.
“They are trained to recognise early signs of side effects and they are also trained to respond to them effectively.”
“My key message is please do not be afraid to take the AstraZeneca vaccine. It is currently the best protection any of us will have against COVID-19,” said Sogavare.