Vaccine hesitancy worries health authorities


HEALTH authorities in Papua New Guinea are struggling with the challenge of encouraging the people to fully utilise the 132,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from the Covax-Facility before it expires next month, an official says.
National Pandemic Response deputy controller Dr Daoni Esorom said there was still 80,000 doses available in provinces.
Dr Esorom said the vaccines sent to Western, Western Highlands and East Sepik would expire on July 18.
He said the rest of the vaccines that were sent to other provinces would expire on July 29.
“We have a lot of hesitancy in our country that is actually limiting our demand for the use of the vaccine,” he said.
“In terms of vaccination, five provinces are performing well and they include the National Capital District, Central, East New Britain, Hela and Morobe.
“We have a strategy and we will review the way forward on how to fully utilise this vaccine before the expiry date.”
Dr Esorom said this during the arrival of 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine donated by China yesterday. He said Sinopharm’s expiry date was two years.