Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says it is the Government’s intention to vaccinate every citizen and resident living in Solomon Islands that is 18 years of age and over.
The Prime Minister highlighted this during his nationwide address on Monday this week.
Prime Minister Sogavare said this would require almost 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Therefore, the Prime Minister said the Government has prioritised the emergency zone of the western border and Honiara for the first 24,000 doses.
“In Honiara, the priority is for all front-liners, key people in all front-line ministries and agencies including those in the private sector such as front-line workers in Solomon Airlines, Ports Authority, and other private sector firms,” he said.
The Prime Minister said national leaders including all members of the National Parliament are also included in the first roll-out, of the first 7,000 doses of the vaccine to be deployed in Honiara.
“We also anticipate some people above 55 years of age that have existing diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure or asthma to also benefit from the first roll out of the vaccines,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be given between 2-3 months after the first dose had been given.
“We anticipate receiving the balance of the 108,000 doses allocated to Solomon Islands by the COVAX facility before end of June 2021. All those that had received their first dose will receive their second doses between May and June 2021,” Prime Minister Sogavare highlighted.
The Prime Minister also encouraged all front-line ministries and agencies to work closely with the Ministry of Health over the next two days to finalise the list of people in their ministries and agencies to receive their first dose of the vaccine before Wednesday this week.
“For every one that comes please bring your work IDs. For those over 55 years of age with existing diseases, please also bring with you your medical record cards or books. This will ensure your medical history is known,” he said.
Following the Honiara vaccine roll-out, Prime Minister Sogavare said the vaccinating teams will be deployed to the western border together with the medical teams.
He said work has already commenced at the emergency zones along the western border to prepare the list of people to be vaccinated and to identify the locations for vaccination centres.
“I urge all communities in the emergency zone along the western border to listen out and work with our combined border force under the leadership of the RSIPF and health. The joint border force will work and coordinate with the respective provincial health services in all three provinces along the western border,” he said.