The Chinese-made Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine was launched by the Prime Minister before getting the vaccination yesterday.
The Ministry said the launched follows the recent hand over of the vaccine from the Chinese Government to the Government of Vanuatu.
The Sinopharm vaccine has been approved by WHO and received the emergency use listing which means it is safe to use and is effective to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
The Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines will be kept in cold storage awaiting the Ministry of Health’s rollout plan, which will clearly detail out the operation and rollout to the communities in Vanuatu.
As part of the roll-out plan, the Ministry of Health had carried out training of healthcare workers on the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines to ensure that they are equipped with the right knowledge and skills to handle and administer the vaccine.
Prime Minister Loughman said, “The additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccines that Vanuatu has received will help us achieve our goal to vaccinate all people in the country who are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines”.
“With the high number of COVID-19 cases elsewhere around the world, there is a huge global vaccine demand against a limited supply, which means Vanuatu is very fortunate to have this support from the Chinese Government.”
For maximum protection, everyone receiving the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine (18 years and above) must have two doses. This means that after first dose, the World Health Organisation recommends that a second doses needs to be received after 3-4 weeks.
The vaccine has already been administered to millions of people in China and elsewhere.
One of the keys advantages of the Sinopharm vaccine is that it can be stored in a standard refrigerator at between 2-8 degrees Celsius, like the AstraZeneca vaccine, and it has a long shelf-life of up to 2 years.
The Sinopharm vaccine is an inactivated vaccine and it is developed by the Sinopharm/China National Pharmaceutical Group.
The Ministry of Health will provide details on the Sinopharm vaccine rollout plan and communicate this to the public once they are finalised.
Photo supplied Caption" Prime Minister Bob Loughman Weibur receives the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine