Tonga PM-designate urges parents to get kids second vaccine as new Cabinet list release awaits royal appointment


Tongan Prime Minister-designate Siaosi Sovaleni has urged Tongan parents to embrace the COVID-19 vaccination for young children, as the latest official data shows a low percent rate of vaccinations for this age group.

Sovaleni has urged parents on Facebook to take their children for their second jabs.

He said the vaccination rate for children aged 12 – 17 was still low.

His appeal came after the Ministry of Health officially announced on Monday that 96 percent or 73, 748 of the population aged 12 and over had their first vaccination dose done while 78 percent or 59,834 had taken their second shots.

World Health Organisation (WHO) record showed that as of 12 December 2021, a total of 130,236 vaccine doses had been administered in Tonga.

The kingdom recorded its first Covid-19 case in October after a person who was one of 215 people who arrived in Tonga on a repatriation flight from Christchurch, New Zealand tested positive.

Meanwhile, Kaniva News understands the official release of the full list of Sovaleni’s new Cabinet is awaiting the new Prime Minister’s appointment by the king.

Tonga’s constitution states the King has to appoint the Prime Minister-designate for the election to come into effect.

The King normally appointed former Prime Ministers just before or after Christmas or on the first week of January the following year.

In 2010, after the election of Lord Tu’Ivakanō as Prime Minister under the new democratic system of government on 21 December he was officially appointed by the King on 22 December.
After the election of late ‘Akilisi Pōhiva to be the new Prime Minister on 18 December the King officially appointed him on 30 December, 2014.

Pohiva was re-elected on 18 December as Prime Minister after the snap election of 2017 and was later appointed by the King on 04 January 2018.