Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is the first Solomon Islander to be vaccinated with the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine.

Sogavare was the first in line to get the jab as the country begun its COVID-19 vaccine rollout yesterday.

Sogavare said shortly after he was vaccinated that he was over the moon and felt good.

“I feel good as there is no side effect. I just feel so normal,” Sogavare said.

He says that the war against COVID-19 is not yet over and calls on Solomon Islanders over the age of 18 to take the vaccination and help protect the country against the deadly virus.

Others that received the vaccine were the Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Jeremiah Manele, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Pauline McNeil and the Attorney General John Muria Jr. 

Other Government Ministers and Permanent Secretaries also got their shots of the vaccine. The current Miss Solomon Islands, Gladys Habu, was also amongst the first to be vaccinated.

As part of the roll out vaccination program national leaders would be the first to get the AstraZeneca vaccine followed by a thousand health workers.

The government's plan now is to vaccinate all Solomon Islanders to protect the country against the virus.

The outbreak in Papua New Guinea has prompted the government to prioritise the western Solomons, with at least 17,000 of the AstraZeneca vaccine allocated for those communities living close to the border.

Solomon Islands received 24,000 vaccine doses at the weekend through the international COVAX facility which has committed to providing 108,000 doses by June.