The ministry of health and medical services (MHMS) has expanded its eligibility criteria for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 jab.

Having successfully completed 3,479 vaccinations for frontliners and the elderly the health ministry is now calling on the following to come forward and get their first COVID-19 vaccination.

1. All people above 18 years of age that have co-existing sickness such as diabetes or high blood pressure or asthma

2. All adults above 40 years old that do not have any co-existing illness

3. Family members of front-liners that are above 18 years of age

4. Members of national sporting teams that will travel to represent the country in overseas sporting events such as the 2021 Olympics, Regional Futsal competitions

5. All staff of shipping agents that board foreign vessels during clearance

6. All stevedores in Honiara and especially in Western province

7. All staff in government ministries that serve on counters and interact with members of the public including staff of:
a. the Ministry of Finance and treasury,
b. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External trade,
c. Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development
d. Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs, and
e. All teachers in Honiara based schools
f. Staff from the Fisheries sector

8. All staff that serve on counters and interact with members of the public in Banks, the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund, SOEs including SIWA, SIEA, Post Office, Solomon Airlines, Solomon Islands Ports Authority, and members of the Boards for these SOEs.

9. Members of the Clergy and Church Leaders

10. Staff of Multilateral, international, regional organizations
11. Staff of diplomatic missions

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare reassures those that are now eligible for vaccination that only two cases out of the 3,479 that were vaccinated were referred to NRH outpatient department.

However, he said both cases were unrelated to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Prime Minister Sogavare said he was informed that it was related to other causes including anxiety and panic attacks.

He says as of 16th April, a total of 3479 within the prioritized groups for vaccination in Honiara have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“This is only 49 percent completion rate, which leaves 3522 doses yet to be administered,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.