Friday 10 December 2021
Deputy Controller of the National Pandemic Response, Dr Esorom Daoni, has expressed concern over the low vaccination coverage in the country.
The current national level of vaccine coverage is 11 percent, which is short of reaching the country’s target of 20 percent (or 1.8 million people) in 2021.
In his virtual media briefing yesterday (9 December) Dr Daoni has again pleaded with citizens to get tested and vaccinated.
“ We need to increase our testing to prevent infecting others,” he urged.
The number of COVID-19 tests conducted during the reporting period , is 264,135.
In the meantime, the total number of vaccine doses administered as of 2 December 2021, is 370,401,while 279,220 persons have at least received one dose, where as 211,421 people have been double-dosed.
“Vaccination coverage is low and we need to do more. Our focus is on frontline workers.”
The total number of health workers who have at least received one dose is 14,380 whilst 8,999 have been fully vaccinated, as of 7 December 2021.
The other focused groups of people for vaccine coverage, are the 45 years and above, of which 89,779 have at least received one dose and 71,433 are fully vaccinated,, while Persons with Comorbidity had 6575 people receive at least one dose with 4706 having doubled -dose.
Dr Daoni added the approved vaccines in the country are, AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson and Sinopharm.
Meanwhile, plans are underway to bring in 300,000 of medicines, Molnuparivir from MERK at the cost of USD 750 per dose and Paxlovid, from Pfizer which costs USD 530 per dose.
The Department of Health and the National Control Centre are working with the United Nations to bring in the medicines by early 2022.
Dr Daoni emphasised that , due to high vaccine hesitancy ,the medicines will only be administered to persons who have tested positive for coronavirus.
Dr Daoni further added that PNG will not be closing its borders amidst the spread of Omicron variant in 40 countries, adding, “we need to be vigilant and not to panic.”
“Most importantly, we need to practice the New Normal and increase testing.”