Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has announced that the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in Australia have been approved to be used in Solomon Islands.

The Prime Minister in his nationwide address on Monday this week said the approval was made following considerations by the National Medicines and Therapeutic Committee.

He said the Australian manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine uses the same formula to the AstraZeneca vaccine that we had received from India through the COVAX facility.

“The Australian manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine has already been rolled out in Australia. It has also received approvals from other Pacific countries including Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu, Samoa, Palau, and Timor Leste,” he said.

Timor Leste has received 20,000 doses, and Fiji has received their first 10,000 doses.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the Australian Government has offered 60,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine over a 6-months period, in batches of 10,000 doses per month.

The Prime Minister said we are anticipating our first lot of 10,000 vaccine doses soon.

“If there is a delay in delivery of the balance of the COVAX supplied AstraZeneca vaccines, we may have to consider using the Australian made AstraZeneca vaccine for the second dose in June 2021,” he said.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the approval AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines have put our country on an excellent platform.

He said both vaccines can be used safely and effectively to protect those vaccinated from COVID-19 infections.

Source: OPMC media release