Sunday, November 28

Pacific island nations face a difficult task to introduce COVID-19 vaccination: study – archyde

Special: Fight against the novel coronavirus

A study by Australia’s Lowy Institute showed that Pacific island nations have lagged behind on COVID-19 vaccination rates, which will hamper their economic recovery and increase the risk of new variant mutations.

The study, published on Sunday, showed that Papua New Guinea (PNG) will be one of the last countries in the world to achieve mass vaccination unless significant interventions are made. The study predicted that only 35 percent of the adult population is expected to be vaccinated in PNG by 2026.

In the Solomon Islands, despite the government’s education campaign, most citizens are still reluctant. The adult population is expected to be fully vaccinated by mid-2026.

The study found that vaccine shortages, a limited number of health workers, and vaccination reluctance are reasons for such a low vaccination rate. For example, there is widespread vaccine reluctance and resistance in PNG fueled by misinformation on social media.

As of Sunday, 348,938 people in the country had been vaccinated, which makes up about 2 percent of the population.

The study warned that the vaccine problem will have a profound impact on the connectivity of island countries with the outside world and will hamper their post-pandemic economic recovery if trends continue.

“The challenge for most countries is not the supply of vaccines, but the demand. How they approach this challenge will determine their economic and development path for years to come, ”said Alexandre Dayant, research fellow at the Lowy Institute.

He also suggested increasing the capacity of the health sector in these countries.

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