A new coordinating committee has been established by the government. This committee is jointly chaired by the Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his weekly statement says this committee was established to drive the development and deployment of a COVID-19 vaccination plan in Solomon Islands.

“The National Coordinating Committee (NCC) is supported by a Technical Working Group, a group for COVAX which is also co-chaired by the Ministers of Health and Finance with membership including our development partners mainly Australia, New Zealand, People’s Republic of China, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the World Bank”, Sogavare says.

He says the Technical Working Group has already developed a draft National Deployment and Vaccination plan. This will be further deliberated by the National Coordinating Committee and the Oversight Committee before presenting it to Cabinet for approval.

Sogavare says the government is anticipating receiving the plan before the end of this month.

The NCC had its first meeting in the first week of December 2020, where the Solomon Islands application for COVID-19 vaccines was reviewed and approved.

The Health Ministry confirms that the committee has already submitted the country’s request to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a global health agency co-leading the COVAX facility. It is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure Covid-19 vaccines are available worldwide on an equitable basis.