As every Fridays, hundreds flocked the Auki main market yesterday morning only to find themselves attending the COVID-19 vaccination launching and roll out program for Malaita Province.
Following the launch many gathered around with great curiosity to witness, the Provincial Premier acting and Deputy Premier Hon. Randle Sifoni and acting Provincial Health Director Dr Danny Danitofea both taking the first COVID-19 jabs from the Malaita vaccine roll out program.
Yes, the Ministry of Health together with its provincial health teams are working round the clock to bring COVID-19 vaccines as close as possible to your homes, offices and places where you frequently visit and today it is Malaita’s turn.
With months and weeks of preparation, the province has finally made a successful launch this morning which marks the beginning of vaccine roll out for all persons 18 years and above in the province.
Malaita Provincial Health Director, acting, Dr David Danitofea in delivering his remarks highlighted the need for Malaita people to get vaccinated ahead of any possible entry and community transmission of COVID-19 in the province.
“Our provincial health systems, capacities and capabilities are no way near being able 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”,
“To date, over 38 thousand cases and over 3 hundred deaths in Fiji due to the COVID-19 delta variant, how much more its impact to our province in the event of a community spread. Therefore, these vaccines launched today offers us a wonderful opportunity to enable us stay protected against the health risks of COVID-19”, explained Dr Danitofea.
Mr. Ivan Ghemu, Director Policy and Planning of the National Ministry of Health also echoed similar sentiments while highlighting the safety of the vaccines.
“To date we have administered over 55 thousand COVID-19 doses with not a single death. All minor side- effects subsided and disappeared in 1 to 2 days and one (1) severe reaction case well managed by Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) by doctors on site. Do not be afraid, it is COVID-19 that kills and threaten our health, you now have the opportunity to protect yourselves, families and communities against COVID-19, so come and get vaccinated.
Mr Ghemu assured of the commitment and dedication of the Ministry of Health to serving the health needs of the people in Malaita and urge the public to not trust vaccine information including rumours and claims from any other sources but to only trust those coming from the Ministry of Health and partners such as WHO and UNICEF.
In delivering key- note address, Acting Premier and Deputy Premier of Malaita Province Honourable Randle Sifoni, expressed acknowledgement to the national government.
“I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the national government and the Ministry of Health in keeping us safe until today from this COVID-19 pandemic especially a community transmission. Thank you also for the support and commitment towards , rolling out the vaccines in Malaita Province. Something we should all be happy about”,
He added, “also In having the largest population in Solomon Islands including in the capital Honiara, Malaita province is at high risk from possible COVID-19 entry and community transmission from ports of entry in the capital and other provinces”.
“As such, towards the end of last month, the Executive resolved that regardless of the fact that we are in a democratic society where you all can choose freely, as much as possible we want all of you to get vaccinated noting the national government, no jab, no job policy”, said Mr Sifoni.
He concluded, “I as the deputy premier of Malaita province now declare that COVID-19 vaccination program in Malaita province is open, may god bless Malaita and may God bless Solomon Islands.