Chinese COVID vaccine arrives in Vanuatu

The Chinese Government today handed 20,000 doses of its Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine to the Vanuatu Government at the National Convention Centre in Port Vila.

Prime Minister, Bob Loughman, acknowledged the Chinese Government for its continuous support to Vanuatu during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Government will continue to talk with our development partners on how to get more vaccines to ensure our population, including those under 18 years, can get COVID-19 vaccines and stay safe from the virus,” the Prime Minister said.

The Chinese Ambassador to Vanuatu, His Excellency Zhou Haicheng, said it had taken some months of negotiation with the Chinese Government to get the vaccine into Vanuatu.

Mr Haicheng said China had shown its commitment to supporting Vanuatu and its economic recovery during the COVID pandemic.

The Director for Public Health, Len Tarivonda, says once a roll out plan for the Sinopharm vaccine is complete, the Ministry of Health will confirm when people can start getting the shots.

“People to do not have to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” Mr Tarivonda said.

“But we need to make people aware how important it is that they do choose to come forward to get the vaccine to protect themselves against COVID-19.

“People on Efate who want to take the AstraZeneca vaccine can go to the health ministry or the National Convention Centre to get it.

“The ministry will choose another venue for people wanting to get the Sinopharm vaccine.”

Both the Sinopharm and AstraZeneca vaccines have been approved by the World Health Organisation.

The Chinese Government also handed 22,400 syringes to the Ministry of Health today to assist Vanuatu’s vaccination program.

The Ministry of Health says it will announce its roll out plan for the Sinopharm vaccine next week.

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