Turnout good in Port Vila for COVID-19 jab

In Port Vila, over 2000 people have been vaccinated against the coronavirus with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Prime Minister Bob Loughman says the Government is happy with the turnout of Efate residents to get the vaccine.

The Prime Minister says the high turnout is a positive sign that false and confusing information circulated on some social media platforms about the vaccine had not put people off getting vaccinated.

“We have made the second order of the AstraZeneca vaccine from COVAX,” the Prime Minister said, referring to the global initiative led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which is helping developing countries access vaccines.

“We are expecting the second batch to arrive in August.

“We are getting this COVID vaccine through our bilateral partners and the Government is asking people to make getting the COVID vaccine a priority so they can be safe.”

Prime Minister Loughman says the Ministry of Health is doing a very good job in ensuring people over 55 years of age are being prioritised to get the vaccine.

The Director for Public Health, Len Tarivonda, says both the AstraZeneca vaccine and the Sinopharm vaccine, which has been provided to Vanuatu by China, have been approved by the WHO.

Mr Tarivonda says the side effects some people experience after the vaccines are a sign that the vaccine is working in their bodies.

“The COVID vaccines work in different ways to help protect us from the COVID-19 virus,” he said.

The public can now choose either the AstraZeneca or the Sinopharm vaccine to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

The vaccines are yet to be rolled out in other provinces of Vanuatu. The Sanma Provincial Health has confirmed it is currently running awareness on its roll out for Sanma Province.

The Sanma Provincial Health hopes to roll out COVID-19 vaccines in the province in August, starting with its front line workers.

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