Solomon Islands remains Covid-free for the last six months.
This welcoming news was revealed by the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Pauline McNeil during a talkback show over the national broadcaster.
Whilst thanking front-liners, essential workers, support staff, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), business community, Church and community leaders for their support in the ongoing mass vaccination roll out so far, the PS cautioned that the country is not out of the woods yet.
She iterated that the potential entry of the virus and subsequent community transmission still remains a real possibility.
“Unless we reach 100% vaccination rate, the country is still not safe and hence, I call on all eligible members of our population to get their jabs,” she said.
Mrs. McNeil adds that with the easing of restrictions on the way, any community transmission of the virus is sure to be deadly and the only way to protect the population is through vaccination.
The PS said that since the beginning of the vaccination roll program, a total of 239,438 doses have been administered to date.
She adds that of the total, 59,226 have been fully vaccinated whilst 180,212 are yet to take their second doses. This shows that only14.3% of the eligible population have received the double jab required for protection against the deadly virus.
“I strongly urge those who are yet to receive their first jabs to come forward so that we can be able to protect ourselves and those around us from Covid-19. Those that are yet to receive their second doses, please do so when your time comes,” she said.
The Health PS emphasizes that a single dose is not enough to protect oneself from the virus.
Meanwhile, data have shown that the rate of vaccination for Honiara and Guadalcanal has recently fallen.
“Because of this, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the National Referral Hospital (NRH) has decided to put together mobile vaccination teams. Teams will be deployed to our various communities to boost the rate of vaccination and this exercise is set to roll in two weeks time,” she stressed.
The PS further calls for public support and cooperation especially from communities to ensure the success of the exercise.