Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has repeated his call on people over eighteen years living in border communities to be vaccinated when the Government’s vaccination programme reaches them.

He said getting the vaccine is the only way to protect themselves, their families, communities and Province in light of the rapid increase in covid-19 cases in neighboring Papua New Guinea-posing high risk of community transmission from Bougainville.

“COVID-19 is real. It is spreading very quickly across the border. Please, all of you above 18 years old are vaccinated. Protect yourselves, your families, your communities, your province, and your country by being vaccinated,” Sogavare said on Monday.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has commenced deployment to the western border as of last week. Other personnel will be deployed to conduct vaccine awareness, training of vaccinators, and step-up support to the current joint operations at the border.

The deployment will also strengthen health services to ensure they are maintained and enhanced.

The post awareness survey on the rollout of COVID-19 Vaccines saw all chiefs of the FAMOA Council of Chiefs in the Shortland Islands supporting the vaccine roll out compared to only 30 percent support during the pre-awareness survey.

“This is a positive result. I thank and commend the FAMOA Council of Chiefs for taking the leadership in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the Shortland Islands,” he said.

Flight cancellations delayed similar trainings planned for Choiseul province last week. They will now take place this week, followed by the rollout of vaccination in the emergency zone in Choiseul province.

The teams will also focus on mobilizing support from provincial and community leaders and undertake community awareness on the roll out of the vaccines in Choiseul province.

Health authorities are also preparing personnel for a similar deployment to the Malaita Outer Islands.

Source: GCU Media Release