THE World Health Organisation (WHO) office in Honiara has confirmed that no COVID-19 Vaccines will be imported and be used in the Solomon Islands unless those vaccines are approved by WHO.
Speaking during the weekly Talkback Show held on Sunday, Dr. Yogesh Dr. Yogesh Choudhri from WHO-Solomon Islands said as some countries have started their COVID-19 vaccination program under what is called Emergency used authorisation, the WHO has yet to approved some of the vaccines that have already been used.
Dr. Yogesh said countries like the USA, Canada, UK, and Europe are the ones using those vaccines as were going through a very high level of transmission which needed to be stopped.
However, he said these vaccines have not yet approved by the WHO which means they have to ensure approve those vaccines before they can be part of the distribution to their members.
“These vaccines have not yet approved by the WHO so what they are doing right now since we are part of the group of countries that will be receiving those vaccines under the COVID-19 Facility is we are waiting for the WHO to approve these vaccines COVID-19 Facility to start so that we can get those vaccines to start under the WHO,” he said.
At the same time, he said they are also starting the process to negotiate with the bilateral donors and partners including New Zealand for the distribution of vaccines.
“We are starting the process to negotiate with the bilateral donors and partners for example recently New Zealand has committed vaccines for some of the Pacific countries and we have been starting talking to New Zealand to give us the vaccines.
“Similarly when the Vaccines from China is being approved, WHO would also be requesting them for additional vaccines so that they can start to immunise their priority populations,” he added.
Dr. Yogesh said there are two channels they are waiting for, first to ensure the vaccines are approved before it can be supplied and at the same time to talking to their bilateral donors on how they can get those vaccines.
By IAN M.KAUKUI