The Ministry of Health is calling on all people aged 18 years and above from the five municipal wards of Port Vila to come forward to the National Convention Centre to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. It is especially important that people who are 35 years and above come for their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine but all are welcome
Up until 20 June 2021, there were 7,462 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines administered. Of this, a total of 548 healthcare workers, 1,032 other frontline workers, 1,367 elderly persons and 994 persons with known underlying conditions received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. No serious adverse events following immunization in Vanuatu have been confirmed to be vaccine-product related. While there is high numbers of vaccinations generally across the priority groups, reports show that there is still low vaccination coverage among other frontline workers, such as, public land transport drivers, and police and security forces.
“The Ministry of Health acknowledges our own healthcare workers as well as other frontline workers including the management of the organisations for encouraging their teams to come forward to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,” stated Len Tarivonda, Director of Public Health. “The role that healthcare workers and other frontline workers play is so important. It is vital that they are vaccinated to ensure they are protected while they continue to do their jobs”.
The vaccination campaign currently ongoing at the National Convention Centre in Port Vila has been scheduled starting this week to encourage all 18 years and above to come forward and get vaccinated.
Rollout to other communities in south and north Efate is planned to start on 28 June. The Ministry of Health technical teams have discussed and will provide further information on the vaccination rollout plan to the southern part of Efate, extending later next week to northern part of Efate and the offshore islands.
This week, communities from southern part of Efate are encouraged to come forward and get vaccinated at the National Convention Centre.
Len Tarivonda, Director Public Health stated that vaccination team from the Ministry of Health will stationed at Paunangisu Health Centre from 28 June onwards hence it is an opportunity for communities in North Efate to have vaccination team close to their home.
The Ministry of Health will continue to provide vaccination at the National Convention Centre vaccination site until the end of August this year.
“There will be buses available this week to transport people who wish to get their vaccine from the five municipal wards to the Convention Centre,” said Director Tarivonda. “The Ministry wants to ensure vaccination covers all the eligible population living in our target vaccination area in Port Vila and surrounding communities on Efate”, he added.
The Ministry of Health has already summited to the COVAX Facility requesting the next shipment of COVID-19 vaccines planned to arrive in the next month.
The first 24,000 doses as plan to be vaccinating 24,000 people with their first dose awaiting the second batch for the second doses.
“Vaccines are our best hope of ending this pandemic together with other important public health measures. All the efforts being made for successful immunization campaigns are critical”, said Director Tarivonda.
As vaccines rollout continues, they should complement, and not replace public health measure, to successfully prevent and control transmission. These include hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette, and disinfection and cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.