PM Sogavare gets first COVI-19 jab as Solomon Islands starts vaccine rollout


Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was the first in line to get the jab as Solomon Islands started its COVID-19 vaccine rollout today.

“Well first 15 minutes and I am over the moon. I feel good as there is no side effect. I just feel so normal,” PM Sogavare told SIBC

Prime Minister Sogavare said the war against COVID-19 is not yet over.

Sogavare said the vaccination programme is the country’s united stand to prevent them from COVID-19.

He said the government’s plan now is to vaccinate all Solomon Islanders to protect the country against the virus.

Health Permanent Secretary Pauline McNeil said national leaders would be the first to get the AstraZeneca vaccine today followed by a thousand health workers.

Among those who first received the vaccine is the current Miss Solomon Islands Gladys Habu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Jeremiah Manele and the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Pauline McNeil.

Other Government Ministers and Permanent Secretaries also got their shots of the vaccine.

Solomon Islands has recorded 18 coronavirus cases from returning nationals and has successfully avoided community transmission.

But an outbreak next door in Papua New Guinea, where case numbers have tripled in the past month, has worried authorities in Honiara.

McNeil said the bulk of the vaccines will be sent to border communities in the western Solomons.

“Only 7000 vaccines will be administered here in the capital the remaining 17,000 will be rolled out to the border,” she said.

Solomon Islands received 24,000 vaccine doses at the weekend through the international COVAX facility which has committed to providing 108,000 doses by June.

McNeil said the government is aiming to vaccinate the majority of its population over the age of 18 – with vaccines coming from China, India and Australia and New Zealand