Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has reiterated the National Cabinet’s target at 90% vaccination coverage to ensure the country’s borders are fully reopened.

Prime Minister Sogavare in his national address today said 90 % of our eligible population of 414,327 people is 372,895 people.

“By Friday of last week, only 44,613 people have completed their full vaccination, representing only 12% of the targeted 90% coverage,” he said.

The Prime Minister said if all the 108,417 people that have taken their 1st doses completes their 2nd doses, this will increase the total number of the fully vaccinated people to 153,030, which will be 41% of the 90% target population.

“It is crucial that the 108,417 people that have taken their first doses must go for the second doses and for all those still to be vaccinated to go for their vaccination so that we can reach the target coverage to fully reopen our borders,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the government like other like-minded citizens want our borders to fully reopen.

However, he said unless we have a protected and vaccinated population, we cannot reopen our borders in the same way other countries are doing.

“If we continue at the current rate of 7,000 doses per week, it will take us about 78 weeks or 17 months to reach the 90% target, which means we will not be able to reopen our borders until March of 2023,” he said.

The Prime Minister said if we step up our vaccination coverage to 20,000 doses administered each week, it will take approximately 28 weeks or 7 months to reach our 90% target, which means we can reopen our borders fully by 1st of June 2022.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the date for us to reopen our borders depends on our weekly vaccination targets.

“If you all want the borders to reopen quickly and safely, then all the people who are yet to be vaccinated must get vaccinated as soon as possible. We need to vaccinate at least 20,000 people per week. This is an average of 4,000 vaccinations per day throughout the country,” he said.

Source: Press Release