With COVID-19 vaccination round one, completed in the Malaita Outer Islands for over close to 500 persons 18 years and above and roll out now in progress in the Western Province, Choiseul Province is next in line to roll out the vaccine as tomorrow.
Choiseul have in the last two weeks, successfully completed a series of vaccine awareness for relevant individuals, organizations and targeted communities with support from national health Staff deployed. This also includes, training for health workers who will prepare, handle, administer and to conduct post vaccination monitoring for any Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) the vaccines including, data officers to compile data on vaccinated persons.
Vaccination for Choiseul will initially be administered for frontliners, some key provincial public figures in the provincial government, churches and targeted communities to build confidence around the vaccines, followed by all persons 18 and above along communities right at the western border.
This is part of the overall initiative of the Government through the Ministry of Health to establish a barrier of vaccinated persons along communities along the Western Border to mitigate risk from a potential entry and community spread of COVID-19 due to concerning increases of COVID-19 in Bougainville. It is estimated, that over 200 cases have been registered in Bougainville.
Dr Divinal Ogaoga Chair of COVID-19 Vaccine Technical Working Group (TWG) who was also down in the Western and Choiseul provinces in the past weeks leading the preparations said that preparations in Choiseul is now completed and vaccination is set to commence.
“All necessary and relevant preparations have now been completed and Choiseul is set to commence with vaccination following its planned COVID-19 vaccine launch event scheduled for Wednesday this week at the province’s capital, Taro”, stated Dr Ogaoga.
The TWG Chair acknowledged the tremendous support by the Provincial Premier Hon Watson Qoloni, Executive and Assembly members, heads of key provincial government ministries and agencies such as the police who are engaged in COVID-19 operations including community and church leaders and the people.
“ Without your support, preparations would not have reached this far in a very short span of time, we are able to conduct all necessary and relevant preparations and more importantly that Choiseul Province can now commence vaccination of its eligible people at the Western Border communities, thus a big thank you indeed”, stated Dr Ogaoga.