The government is committing itself to a 100 percent COVID-19 vaccine coverage.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the government has committed 50 percent vaccine coverage through the GAVI facility while the remaining 50 percent of the population will be secured through bilateral arrangement with the country’s development partners.

“In this regard I applaud the commitments of Australia that has announced the amount of SBD$85 million dollars to assist Solomon Islands procure and distribute vaccines, and other countries including New Zealand and the People’s Republic of China that have already committed to support the government’s COVID-19 vaccination roll out program”, Sogavare says.

He says the initial application to cover the first 0.25 percent of the country’s population had been received by GAVI. He says the first tranche of vaccines will be targeted to the front-liners.

“Fellow citizens the Oversight Committee will be meeting with the COVAX National Coordinating Committee and the COVAX Technical Working Group today (Monday) to agree a timeline for the presentation of our COVID-19 Vaccine roll-out strategy to Cabinet for its consideration”, Sogavare says.

Preparations, led by WHO, UNICEF and Gavi, are already well under way for COVAX to deliver vaccines to economies eligible for support via the COVAX AMC, with Gavi making US$ 150 million available from its core funding as initial, catalytic support for preparedness and delivery.

The COVAX Facility intended to provide all 190 participating economies with an indicative allocation of doses by the end of this month. WHO reports that this indicative allocation will provide interim guidance to participants – offering a minimum planning scenario to enable preparations for the final allocation of the number of doses each participant will receive in the first rounds of vaccine distribution.

“The urgent and equitable rollout of vaccines is not just a moral imperative, it’s also a health security, strategic and economic imperative,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

“This agreement with Pfizer will help to enable COVAX to save lives, stabilize health systems and drive the global economic recovery.”

Globally, as of 5:30pm CET, 25 January 2021, there have been 98,794,942 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 2,124,193 deaths, reported to WHO.