The Ministry of Health says it is saddened by verbal abuse and threats made against a group of vaccinators in Honiara last week while rolling out vaccination.

Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Health Mrs Pauline McNeil made this statement during the live broadcast and streaming of the COVID-19 Oversight Committee Radio Talk Back show yesterday at the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Cooperation (SIBC).

Mrs McNeil explained that these vaccinators are fathers and mothers themselves working hard every day to feed their families just like anyone else, and more importantly they are administering an important vaccine, one that will prevent severe illness, hospitalization and deaths from COVID-19, let alone the delta variant threat that is right at our door steps.

“Therefore the ministry is urging the public with grievances and disagreements with the current vaccine roll out to utilize existing proper channels and relevant legal avenues to express themselves rather than in such disturbing manner”, said Mrs McNeil.

Mrs McNeil also went on to highlight that the success of the current vaccine roll out heavily depends on the support from the public and across all sectors of the economy and levels of governance.

“We will not be able to achieve our goal of vaccinating all eligible persons, 18 years and above to reach our potential to protect ourselves against severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID if we lack support from the public, civil society groups, churches, communities and across sectors of the economy and governance at national and provincial level”.

On that note, the Ministry of Health says it would like to take its hat off in salutation and acknowledgement to all those who have come forward to receive their vaccination, to all those who continue to advocate for the vaccines and encourage others to also come forward to get their doses.

“To all community and church leaders and elders, civil society groups, private sector firms, donors and development partners, national and provincial government including other line ministries, a sincere thank you indeed to you all for the ongoing cooperation partnership to date in supporting the national roll out of the vaccines.

“Thank you indeed to all our vaccinators, medical and public health workers for continuous commitment and dedication towards the health of our people.

“The virus does not discriminate and select its host, we are all equally at risk of contracting the virus, and should we lose one due to the virus, it’s our loss together as one family and one nation.

“Let us all play our part,” a statement from the ministry said.

Source: MHMS Media Release