By Robert Iroga in Honiara
The Solomon Islands government has kicked off its full rollout of its nationwide covid vaccination strategy.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said in his nationwide address that with the increasing threat from the highly transmissible delta variant of covid-19, the government had decided to implement a full rollout of vaccination in all provinces for all adults aged over 18.
“We have now reached the stage where we must roll-out our covid-19 vaccination throughout the nation for all adults that are 18 years of age and over,” he said.
Sogavare said the strategy was to vaccinate all eligible adults in the country to ensure that the risk of widespread community transmission was minimised if the delta variant entered the country.
The Prime Minister said the level of risk had also been raised and that every person travelling to Solomon Islands from high-risk countries or countries with community transmission of covid-19 must be fully vaccinated before they would be allowed into the country.
Prime Minister Sogavare said more than 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines were available with development partners committed to supply more doses.
He said the Ministry of Health had recently conducted a “training of trainers” workshop’ for all provincial health directors, doctors, nurses, data, and registration officers in the past weeks as the national covid-19 vaccination rollout commences.
“The trained provincial teams will conduct further training for provincial health workers in their respective provinces throughout this month of July to support their provincial covid-19 vaccination roll out,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said that as part of the nationwide strategy, 131 newly registered nurses had also been trained in covid-19 treatment, including vaccination.
He said many of them would be deployed to the provinces to support the provincial teams in rolling out the vaccination.
“I thank the Ministry of Health senior executive for their leadership in coordinating the national vaccination roll-out plan with all the provincial health directors and their teams,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare also acknowledged the lord mayor and his executive for taking the lead in the national covid-19 vaccination rollout in Honiara last week.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has reiterated his call for all adults 18 years and over living in and around Honiara to get their vaccinations at the Central Field Hospital and other outreach vaccination centers.
The national covid-19 vaccination rollout programme for Guadalcanal province also started last week at Malanago ward.
Several “outreach vaccination sites” had been set up in Malanago ward in Central Guadalcanal.
The mobile vaccination team would travel to other wards after the rollout programme in Malanago ward was completed.
Republished with permission.