The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) says it is aware of concerns raised on social media regarding contradictory statements made by the Prime Minister on his national addresses and health advisor Dr Yogesh Choudhri on the recent Sunday talk back show on SIBC, regarding use or roll out of the Sinopharm Vaccines.

In one of his national addresses, the Prime Minister stated that the government will roll out the COVID-19 vaccine, Sinopharm, once approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use.

The health advisor on a recent talk back show on the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) stated that there could be possible consideration to request the COVID-19 vaccine Technical Working Group (TWG) and the National Coordinating Committee (NCC) for COVID-19 vaccines in Solomon Islands to roll out the Sinopharm vaccine in the event of a community transmission.

“We would like to clarify that the statement made by the Honourable Prime Minister that Sinopharm vaccines will be roll out upon approval by WHO for emergency use, is actually the current recommendation for the use of Sinopharm vaccines.

“Statement made by Health advisor is merely a possibility of rolling out the vaccine in Solomon Islands that can be considered in the event of a community transmission and depending on the epidemiological situation and what the country is trying to achieve,” the MHMS says in a prepared statement.

The MHMS says that as advisors to health, one of their key roles is to provide options for considerations by the Ministry and the government and in this case what Dr Choudhri mentioned is merely an option should there be community transmission.

The statement by the health advisor was in part an answer to a question posed during the talk back show as to why there was a rush to acquire Sinopharm when it has not yet received approval from WHO.

The MHMS says that it was in that context of outlining some of the considerations made to accept the offer of 50,000 Sinopharm vaccines and the advantage of prepositioning the vaccine in country, that Dr Choudhri made the statement.