Tuesday 19 October 2021
Professor in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of PNG. Dr Glen Mola, says the Covid-19 vaccination is ‘absolutely vital’ for people’s survival.
He made these remarks during the government talk back program on National Broadcasting Corporation Television on Monday evening (18 October), adding, the vaccine is not a treatment but a boost to the immune system to save lives.
“With Covid-19, older people including those with underlying sicknesses are dying from the virus
“With the delta variant, a lot more younger people are now dying of the virus. It is stronger in making more people become sick. It’s a more successful virus.
“The evolutionary process has resulted in this virus, being a more successful virus for the human species,” says Dr Mola.
He emphasised, delta variant is more infectious and can be transmitted instantly to more people in a day, whereas Covid-19 normally can take a few days to infect at least one or two persons.
He is also concerned that a lot of Covid-19 deaths are not registered as covid deaths
Families have requested doctors not to write covid on death certificates, to prevent them from being stigmatized, which leaves lots of covid deaths not recorded as covid deaths.
Dr Mola has repeatedly appealed to Papua New Guineans to get vaccinated and not be choosy on which vaccine to take, adding, “just get the vaccine that you can get tomorrow, because that’s the best one for you to boost your immunity and save our life.”
He however, stressed that those tested positive for Covid-19 should not be vaccinated until they have recovered fully from the infections.
Whilst explaining the various vaccines that are available in country, Dr Mola stressed that people need to understand, that getting one shot of AstraZeneca or Sinopharm, will not make a person vaccinated.
“They are not vaccinated until they get the second shot.
“They only receive the primer, the first shot which educates their immune system on how to make neutralizing antibodies, but they have not actually produced any yet, and so they are not protected.”
With Johnson and Johnson, he adds, the vaccine stays in the skin for a longer period and so it produces the education for the first month and it’s still there for the second month to stimulate the cells to produce the neutralizing antibodies.
“So, it does the job of the first and the second shot in one injection.”
He however warned that if people get very sick at the Port Moresby General Hospital and need ventilators, “the mortality rate is 100 percent.”
“Ventilators are not helping us. Do not think that a ventilator will help you. By the time you get to that stage of the coronavirus infections, you die.”
Dr Mola has also recommended that pregnant women be vaccinated to boost their immune system.
He believes pregnant women are more vulnerable to TB and coronavirus and likely to be infected with other diseases
“This year is not a good year to plan a pregnancy due to the health system being under stress and not enough staff to do Covid stuff as well as routine tasks, which include taking. are of pregnant women,” Dr Mola emphasised.