Up until 27 June, 10,480 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered at the National Convention Centre vaccination site. This equates to 18 per cent coverage of the target population on Efate and its offshore islands.
Vaccines have been prioritized for healthcare workers, other frontline workers, such as border workers, quarantine facility staff, public transport drivers, the elderly (55 and above), and people over 35 with existing medical conditions. The total number of health workers vaccinated of 567 equates to 77% coverage of the target population of 736 healthcare workers on Efate and its offshore islands.
For the 1,642 individuals who stated they had an underlying condition at the time of vaccination, these conditions included high blood pressure, asthmas, diabetes, heart problems, lung disease, kidney disease and cancer.
Side effects following COVID-19 vaccination are common and can be expected. Reported side effects to COVID-19 vaccines have mostly been mild to moderate and short-lasting. They include: fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, diarrhoea, and pain at the injection site. Side effects can affect a person’s ability to do daily activities but should go away in a few days.
In most cases, discomfort from pain or fever is a normal sign that a person’s body is building protection. In the case that a person experiences mild or moderate side effects, the advice is to rest and take a pain killer like paracetamol or aspirin every six hours (if there is no other medical reason to prevent the person from normally taking these). Drinking enough water is also recommended.
Up to 27 June there have been no serious adverse events confirmed to be related to the COVID-19 vaccine product or immunization error.
Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine to be administered on Fridays at the National Convention Centre (starting Friday 6 July)
The Ministry of Health will be administering the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine on Fridays each week starting on 6 July at the National Convention Center.
People wishing to receive the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine are invited to go to the National Convention Centre on Fridays between 8:30am to 4:30pm.
At the official ceremony for the Sinopharm vaccine in early June, 102 doses were administer to government officials and the Honorable Prime Minister, Bob Loughman Weibur as well as other Chinese nationals.
Through bilateral support from the Chinese Government, 20,000 doses of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine arrived into Vanuatu in early June.
Rollout of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine will be administered alongside the ongoing rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccines (from Mondays to Thursdays) to ensure Vanuatu is protected.
Paunagisu Vaccination Site launched on 29 June to run for 10 days
The vaccination site on the north of Efate was launched on Tuesday 29 June to cater for the population on the north of Efate and its offshore islands. It will run for 10 days from 30 June.
People over the age of 18 living on the north of Efate are encouraged to go to the vaccination site based at the Saupia Health Centre for their COVID-19 vaccine.
Everyone is urged to refer only to official information sources and to avoid spreading misinformation and rumors. Further information and updates are made available by the Ministry of Health on the dedicated website at www.covid19.gov.vu or by calling the toll-free COVID-19 information hotline on 119.
Health Promotion Unit