In his recent nationwide address Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare warns that the threat from the highly transmissible ‘Delta Variant of COVID-19’, which has now proven to be air-born, is imminent.
“We have now reached the stage where we must roll-out our COVID-19 vaccination throughout the nation for all adults that are 18 years of age and over,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the strategy is to vaccinate all eligible adults in the country to ensure we minimize the risk of widespread community transmission if the Delta Variant enters Solomon Islands.
The Prime Minister said the level of risk has also been raised and that every person travelling to Solomon Islands from high-risk countries or countries with community transmission of COVID-19 must be fully vaccinated before they are allowed into the country.
Prime Minister Sogavare said more than 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines are available with development partners committed to supply more doses.
He said the Ministry of Health has recently conducted a ‘training of trainers workshop’ for all provincial health directors, doctors, nurses, data, and registration officers in the past weeks as the national COVID-19 vaccination rollout commences.
“The trained provincial teams will conduct further training for provincial health workers in their respective provinces throughout this month of July to support their provincial COVID-19 vaccination roll out,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said as part of the nationwide strategy, 131 newly registered nurses have also been trained in all aspects of COVID-19 including vaccination.
He said many of them will be deployed to the provinces to support the provincial teams in rolling out the vaccination.
“I thank the Ministry of Health Senior Executive for their leadership in coordinating the national vaccination roll-out plan with all the provincial health directors and their teams,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare also acknowledged the Lord Mayor and his executive for taking the lead in the national COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Honiara last week.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has reiterated his call for all adults 18 years and over living in and around Honiara to get their vaccinations at the Central Field Hospital and other outreach vaccination centers.
The national COVID-19 vaccination rollout program for Guadalcanal province has also commenced last week starting at Malanago Ward.
Several ‘outreach vaccination sites’ have been set up in Malanago Ward in Central Guadalcanal.
The mobile vaccination team will travel to other wards after the rollout program in Malanago ward is completed.