Since March, more than 15,000 people have been vaccinated for COVID-19 in the country.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his nationwide address stated vaccination have covered nearly 64% of the target population in Shortlands, with 2838 people out of the target population of 3,610 people vaccinated.
In Choiseul province, the Prime Minister said the vaccination team have only managed to cover 34 % of the target population of 10,000 people so far.
“I again call on everyone 18 years and older in Choiseul and Shortland’s to please take your first doses of AstraZeneca vaccines. You are living next to the border. Should there be a case from the border from Bougainville, and you are not vaccinated, you will not be protected,” the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said people who are not vaccinated, will also put their children under 18 years of age at risk.
“However, if your vaccination protects you from COVID-19, then you will not bring the infection home to your children even if you are exposed. In this way, you protect yourself and your family,” he said.
The Prime Minister said he is aware that many people still have concerns about the safety of the vaccines.
Prime Minister Sogavare said both the vaccines we are using have been approved by the WHO and by our own National Medicines Therapeutics Committee.
“Do not listen to wrong advice or information. Now is the time to get ahead. If we are all vaccinated and COVID-19 does break our barriers, then its impact will be muted because we would have all developed protection against it,” he said.
On the other hand, the Prime Minister said if you are not vaccinated and there is a COVID-19 outbreak, you will likely be infected and will spread the virus to those you are supposed to protect – your children and your grandparents.
“Fellow citizens, please do not waste any more time. Please be responsible. Get your COVID-19 vaccinations right now to protect yourself, your family, and our country,” he said.
Press Release, Office of the Prime Minister