PORT Moresby General Hospital’s doctors and nurses are ready to be AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccinated next week, hospital head of obstetrics and gynaecology Prof Glen Mola says.
Prof Mola, who is also University of Papua New Guinea school of medicine and health science professor, said earlier this month that 684,000 doses of the vaccine was needed in the country to prevent the country’s fragile health system from collapsing.
“All O&G (obstetrics & gynaecology wing) doctors have signed ‘receive the vaccination’ on Monday,” he said.
Dr Sam Yockopua, from the accident and emergency department, said more than 90 per cent of his staff had given their names for vaccination, including 60 nurses, six special doctors and 17 medical officers (registrars).
According to Prime Minister James Marape, the Australian government, upon the request of Papua New Guinea, had given 8,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines that arrived on Tuesday for frontline workers and it was not compulsory, but would be given to those who want to be vaccinated.
Prof Mola said there was much misinformation on social media about the vaccine but the fact was that some 25 million doses of the vaccine had been administered globally and there was no evidence that the vaccine was associated with increased blood clotting (in fact the data shows the opposite).
“Together with behavioural change in the populations where it has been given (wearing masks, distancing and hand hygiene) there has been a fall in incidence and a decline in the mortality,” he said. Prof Mola said being vaccinated was not compulsory at this stage but it may become so for those working in clinical areas because of the risk of being infected and the risk of transmitting the infection to patients.
He said that the AstraZeneca vaccine was about 70 per cent effective and that the vaccine also provided protection against serious illness and death from the Covid-19.
He said people should get vaccinated because it would give you some protection and would reduce the risk of one passing the infection onto friends and family members.