Vaccination plan - Solomon Star News

Vaccination plan

12 January 2021

PRIME Minister (PM) Manasseh Sogavare says he hopes the country’s whole population will be vaccinated by the end of 2021.

Speaking during his first nationwide address for this year, Mr. Sogavare said that in the next couple of months 0.25 percentage of the population should be vaccinated by then.

“My government has submitted our country’s request to GAVI- the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunisation which is the global health agency that co-leads the COVAX Facility on 7th December 2020. 

“Through the COVAX facility, participating eligible countries such as the Solomon Islands will receive an initial Covid-19 vaccine to cover 20 percent of its population free. 

“Countries are then able to co-finance the remaining doses with GAVI.”

Mr. Sogavare said Solomon Islands are among the countries that will benefit from a new Covid-19 Vaccination initiative which call the COVAX facility.

He said the government has agreed to increase the vaccine coverage through the COVAX facility to 50 percentage of the population through bilateral and other multilateral arrangements with development partners.

However, he said in order to qualify under the COVAX facility, the government has established a high-level National Coordinating Committee required for the COVAX facility and it’s jointly chaired by the Permanent Secretaries of Health and Finance to drive the development of a Covid-19 vaccination plan in the country.

Sogavare revealed National Coordinating Committee by a technical working group for COVAX which co-chaired by the Ministries of Health and Finance with membership including the development partners.

He said based on their assessment the working group will recommend which vaccines the country might consider for its implementation, thus they also anticipating receiving the recommendation by the end of this month.

Sogavare revealed the government will submit its proposal to secure this allocation on the 18th of January 2021 which is the closing date.

“We anticipate a decision on the approval of the vaccines to be conveyed to us by the end of January with a likely deployment date for the first batch of vaccines in February or March 2021,” he said.

By FOLLET JOHN                                                                                                                                                           
Newsroom, Honiara