COVID-19 vaccines are currently in roll out mode in Makira-Ulawa province following its launch, last week in the provincial capital, Kira Kira.
Invited guests, and tens of people in the provincial capital including workers from the provincial government ministries, sectoral heads, state owned enterprises, non, government and faith based organizations and community representatives Makira, including workers and visitors gathered around the launch site with much curiosity to witness the administration of first COVID-19 vaccine dose in their province.
MUP Premier Hon. Julian Makaá and his wife were the first to receive the vaccine followed by provincial government workers, church and community leaders and the public.
Mission Secretary of Diocese of Hanuatoó, ACOM Fr Markson Waruhaimae opened the event with a word of prayer, followed by speeches and ribbon cutting to mark the launch of the vaccine roll out.
Makira Provincial Health Director in his remarks while thanking the premier and the provincial government and assembly members, representatives of various sectors including church and community members, highlighted that preparations for the roll out is completed with actual work on vaccination how set to go.
“Today marks the end of preparations to roll out the vaccines and start of the actual work to actively vaccinate eligible population of around 27,000 to 30,000 people in MUP. This is now a tick in to do list of our provincial health in its preparation for the mass COVID-19 vaccination roll”,
Like most provinces, Makira province will also be rolling out the vaccines in fixed sites and mobile outreach services. “This means health workers will either use a facility to set up vaccination site or a tent for strategic positioning to enable ease of access for surrounding communities and out- reach services for hard to reach and remote communities in Makira.
“This is also important to ensure that we do not disrupt the current man power or nurses in provincial health facilities and therefore usual business and health service delivery continues in serving all other health needs of our people across the province”, explained Mr Harara.
Mr Harara urged Makira people to come forward to get vaccinated as the provincial health systems, capacities and capabilities are not yet ready to respond to a community transmission, let alone the national health system.
“We do not need to look far beyond our region to understand the magnitude of COVID-19 impact, our neighbour Fiji even with much enhanced health systems are suffering from the devastation of COVID-19 with the delta variant. So do not waste time come and get vaccinated against COVID-19”, stated Mr Harara.
Chairman, of the Makira Ulawa Provincial Disaster Operations Centre and Acting Provincial Police Commander (PPC), Jerry Muaki said the launch of the COVID-19 Immunization Program in Makira is important especially for the COVID-19 operation frontline workers of the province.
“The front liners are very much at risk in the fight against preventing entry of COVID-19 but also in the event of a community transmission. these vaccines are therefore important to protect our frontliners and all support staff in the province and more importantly will surely bring confidence to the team to do their job effectively”, said PPC Muaki.
Delivering key- note address at the event, Hon. Julian Makaá, Premier of MUP thanked Provincial Disaster Oversight Committee (PDOC), Provincial Health Emergency Operation Centre (PHEOC), provincial health team and the National Ministry of Health and Medical services for support in ensuring the country and the province is safe and free from COVDID-19.
Hon Makaá highlighted the concerning global and regional COVID-19 situation to encourage people to come forward for the vaccination.
“According to World Health Organization, Fiji has recorded a total 47,993 confirm cases and 520 deaths was registered so far. This raises great concern and the need to vaccinate our population. Vaccinating the eligible population, age 18years and above is of high priority and I as the father of this Province kindly appeal to all eligible citizen of this province to come forward and receive your vaccination. This is how we can protect ourselves, families, communities, province and the nation”, said the Premier.
He also encouraged people to not listen to rumors no information on vaccines from any other sources but the Ministry of health and those of technical agencies (WHO and UNICEF) that are currently supporting COVID-19 preparedness and response in Solomon Islands.
“On this note may I assure the people of this province that the government of the day fully supports the program and is committed to ensure that the eligible population is fully vaccinated to protect our beloved province and nation. With great honor, I therefore official declare that the COVID19 Vaccination rollout Program official launched”, concluded the Premier.