Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says that vaccine hesitancy is highest in Honiara and Guadalcanal.

Sogavare says that this worrying given that the most vulnerable to the community spread of COVID-19 is the population that lives in Honiara and Guadalcanal.

He urges all those in Honiara and Guadalcanal to do the right thing and get their COVID-19 vaccination before it is too late. Sogavare is also calling for those at the Western border to take the vaccination message seriously as they are also exposed.

“If COVID-19 reaches Honiara a lockdown will affect livelihoods – food and daily needs will be affected, it is crucial that we are fully vaccinated to prevent the likelihood of community transmission,” the Prime Minister said.

He says that for the country to return to some sort of normalcy a 90% vaccination coverage needs to happen, this is currently the threshold being used in other countries.

The Prime Minister says that the country is ill prepared for any community transmission of COVID-19 and urges those that are hesitant to take the jab to consult health professionals or their church leaders.

He revealed that religious concerns have been given as reasons for not taking the jab, but questions why they do not object to other vaccines that have been administered in the past. Sogavare says COVID-19 is far more deadly, and the consequences of community transmission would be devastating for the country.