The vital importance to one’s health, friends, family, the economy and the country of getting vaccinated against Covid-10, especially given the Delta variant
Again exercising his duty of care and that of his DCGA government the Prime Minister the Hon. Manasseh Sogavare has warned that any Covid-19 community transmission will be far worse than what is being experience in Fiji.
He was speaking during his COVID-19 national address on Monday.
“The impact of any community transmission in Solomon Islands will be worse than the situation in Fiji,” he pointed out.
“It will set the country back many years in development if we have community transmission of COVID-19 before we reach at least 90 percent vaccination coverage of our total eligible population,” PM Sogavare added, as he urges people to take the vaccines.
He said all the countries that have re-opened their borders have based their reopening dates to their vaccination coverage of more than 90 percent of their total eligible population.
“For instance, Fiji has scheduled the reopening of its borders on 1st November 2021.
“As of yesterday, Fiji has achieved 98 per cent coverage of its population for 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccines.
“This is 587,346 people from a total eligible population of 599,333 people – achieved in five months.
“Fiji has also achieved 66 percent coverage of its population for both doses of the vaccines.
“This is 395,560 people. Fiji is confident they will achieve the 90percnet full vaccination by 31st October 2021 to reopen on 1st November 2021,” Prime Minister Sogavare stated.
He said for the country to reopen its borders soon, we need to adopt a similar approach like Fiji.
Prime Minister Sogavare said Cabinet has directed the Oversight Committee to consult widely with the private sector, business houses and all stakeholders to propose the target date for the reopening of SI’s borders.
“And to itemize the activities that must take place for to meet that target reopening date including achieving at least 90 percent of the total eligible population that must have been fully vaccinated with the two doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
“This is exactly what countries like Fiji are doing to ensure they can plan for the reopening of their borders ahead of time,” he said.
So far only 6.4 per cent of the targeted population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
This was confirmed by the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Health and Medical Services Pauline McNeil in a talk-back show.
Ms. McNeil said the vaccination status of the country as of Friday 17 September 2021 recorded 26,710.
“Practically this gives us about 6.4 percent of eligible population,” she said.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his COVID-19 update, yesterday, said the targeted population is 417,327 people.
He said a total of 120,515 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered as of Friday 17th September 2021.
“Collectively this means that 93,805 people in Solomon Islands has had at least 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine, representing around 22percent of the total target population,” Mr. Sogavare said.
In a letter to the Editor of the Solomon Star George Aopururu of the Kiluu’ufi Hospital wrote, and I quote.
Solomon Island has been trying its best in fighting the Covid-19. Thanks to the national Government in implementing its plan to keep front liners in front in the fight and preventing its citizens at all costs to stop the virus from reaching our shores. The deadly virus “Delta Variant” is now a global concern and the world is now living in the pandemic, for almost two years.
And so, Solomon Islands need more fairness and togetherness to accept the vaccination to keep us remain freed from this deadly virus. As we still part of this global world if we weren’t be careful enough about our movements, surely my good brothers and sisters you cannot wait for miracle to happen we will be the next active virus zone if we still not believe and still have different views about vaccinations by not accepting a jab. If we Solomon Islanders need to live a freedom life right now we need to work together to fight the virus from coming into our country. Because, soon and not very long it will reach us here in our lovely islands. We need fairness sharing and educating our people if we love them.
All Church leaders, village chiefs, and all community’s leaders needed to work together with Governments keep sharing about the important and the benefits of the vaccine it will do for all of us to help each individual to fight Covid-19 by taking vaccination before any positive case announce.
Since we were already in trial closed down several times now, I believe our national government have plans ready to treat the disease as endemic. Yet, some of our people still having problem and keep asking question “If our government treat Covid-19 as endemic by vaccinations all its citizens, can it be thought of in the same way as the common flu?
Well, most of us still thought it’s just normal as normal flu. Friends the correct answer is No, it cannot. The knowledge of influenza – for instance, that flu viruses constantly change, so yearly vaccinations are recommended – has been built up over decades of scientific research.
In contrast, Covid-19 is still a relative newcomer.
“Whether Covid-19 will also become a seasonal human coronavirus, we don’t know, “It will possibly take a long time for scientist to observe the evolutions, to understand how this virus finally settles down in the human environment.”
Covid-19 still needs to be studied step by step in our schools.
“We do not know what other surprises are going to come in the future. And since we do not know, and this is a formidable virus, we don’t let down our guard.” So be seriously thinker because even if you are fully vaccinated and interact only with other vaccinated people in everyday life, you still at risk. This is because no one truly lives in a bubble.
While we may not come into direct contact with vulnerable individuals, we may encounter them on public transport. In addition, those we interact with may have vulnerable household members.
It is therefore important for everyone to continue exercising social responsibility, especially since the highly contagious Delta variant can cause an exponential increase in the number of cases around the world. While most affected people are likely to be low-risk cases in that situation. Our country still lucky enough that we have no positive Case but the truth is our movement situation will tell. We will see a proportionate increase in the number of higher-risk cases if we have a positive Case of Delta variant here in our country. But
“Once we hit a certain number, there’s a lot of pressure in terms of medical care and things like that, so what are Solomon Islands Governments other options in virus fight?
Solomon Islands cannot rely solely on vaccines to fight Covid-19 Delta variant, but to educate public on infectious diseases is very important.
“Can we all expect to get Covid-19 at some point in our lives?” We will all be exposed to the virus at some point, perhaps unknowingly, but that does not necessarily mean we will be infected.
“I believe that some of that exposure will not translate into infection, because I protected myself – by vaccines, or safe management measures, masks, hand hygiene and environmental cleanliness.”
But at this point in time, I believe there is no data to show how many positive people who have been exposed to the virus will get infected.
End of quote.
Mr. Aopururu gives wise advice to compliment the words of the Prime Minister in calling for more people to get vaccinated against COVID.
I am especially concerned given all the sound advice from the World Health Authority and the MHMS about the safety and necessity of current Covid vaccinations there is still so few having been vaccinated in the country.
I say this because I fear few realise the real danger posed by the delta variant of Covid-19.
The highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 is leading to surges of cases in the United Kingdom, Africa, and now, parts of the United States. Responsible for about one in every five U.S. cases and rising, the new strain has many public health officials worried as vaccination rates have slowed. Dr. Robert Citronberg, executive medical director of infectious disease and prevention for Advocate Aurora Health, answers questions about the variant’s potential impact, and I quote.
How concerning is the Delta variant?
The variant is circulating rapidly in this country and in other countries around the world. (Also in PNG, Australia, NZ and in Fiji).
While it’s unclear if it’s more dangerous than the original strain of the virus, it’s most definitely more contagious, meaning that more people will get the disease, more people will be hospitalized and unfortunately, more people are going to die from it.
Who is at risk?
We will definitely see spikes in cases and mini-surges in pockets of the country that have low vaccination rates.
A hospital in Southwest USA had shut down their COVID unit, but has now been forced to open it back up again. Now they’re full and diverting new patients. This is a community that has low vaccination rates and is a cautionary tale for communities with similarly low vaccination rates. We believe areas of the country with high vaccination rates are going to have much less impact from the Delta variant.
Some people aren’t finishing their vaccine series. How important is it to be fully vaccinated?
In terms of variants, especially the Delta variant, it’s extremely important to get both doses. For example, it appears that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approximately 90% effective against the Delta variant, which is great. With only one dose though, it may be only about 30-40% effective against the Delta variant, so receiving both doses of the vaccine on schedule is critically important. It’s so important for every strain of the virus, but especially against the Delta variant.
What’s your message to people who haven’t yet gotten vaccinated?
The most important message is that people who are unvaccinated remain at risk for getting COVID-19, getting hospitalized and dying from it. We’re going to see cases of COVID-19 throughout the rest of this year and into next year, and they’re going to occur almost exclusively in unvaccinated patients. So, even though everything is opened up do things we couldn’t do before. — if you’re unvaccinated, you’re still at risk. And I really hope that you’ll think about it and get vaccinated.
End of quote.