Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has expressed his disappointment at a small group of health workers who are promoting misinformation about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.
The Prime Minister in his nationwide address today said it is extremely sad that this group opted not to look at the evidence of the impact of COVID-19 vaccines on breaking the cycle of the global pandemic and have instead promoted misinformation to the public.
“Let me state that in all the countries that have managed to slow down and to reverse the trend of COVID-19 infections, almost all of them are due to COVID-19 vaccines,” he said.
The Prime Minister reiterated that the two vaccines that are currently used in Solomon Islands (AstraZeneca and Sinopharm) have been approved by the WHO for emergency use.
He said both vaccines have also been approved by our own approving authority in the country.
“While I respect individual points of view, I will not allow deliberate misinformation to scare people that wish to protect themselves from COVID-19,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said if such deliberate misinformation continues, then those involved would be held accountable in accordance with provisions of the relevant Regulations.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister encouraged citizens not to listen to misinformation and protect themselves by getting the jab.
“Let me impress upon you all again that this is the best time to boost our bodies’ defenses against COVID-19. You only need to see what is happening in countries that are experiencing community transmission, and the number of people infected because they have not been protected in advance,” he said.
The Prime Minister also encouraged those that have undertaken the first doses of AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines, to check the dates for their second vaccination.
He said it is critical to take the second dose of vaccine to maximize the protective effect of the vaccine.