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Will PNG overcome vaccine scepticism? Take the poll

PNG Prime Minister James Marape receives a dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in Port Moresby. Photo: Gorethy KENNETH / AFP

Vaccination continues to be controversial in Papua New Guinea as misinformation is still rampant.

A recent poll by a local daily paper revealed that many people want the authorities to promote more awareness of Covid-19 vaccines.

Recently a local church condemned employers for setting vaccination as a condition for employment despite the Government’s stand that vaccination is voluntary.

“We must be informed by health authorities if the vaccine components have the potential to induce any damage or injury to the human body,” Reverend Joseph Walters from the Tabernacle of Prayer Church in Port Moresby said.

It appears that people are caught between misinformation, the belief in God’s protection and the lack of proper awareness.

Will you take the COVID vaccine?

Leave this field blank
15% (53) | Maybe - I still need more information
21% (78) | No - God will protect me
30% (108) | Yes and everyone should for the good of our nation and the world
35% (126) | No - Because I’m concerned that it may be worse than COVID

In June, the Papua New Guinea Council of Churches declared its support for the Covid-19 vaccination.

“We affirm our support for the Covid-19 vaccination and declare our trust in the safety and efficacy of Covid-19 vaccination as a lifesaving tool which protects human from severe sickness and death due to the Covid-19,” the council said.

But this isn’t convincing enough as many believe the Government isn’t doing enough to educate people about the safety and importance of getting vaccinated.

For the Roman Catholic Church, which has the largest following in the country, PNG’s prelate to the church Cardinal Sir John Ribat has urged people to listen to the health authorities and get vaccinated.

“The vaccine is a help to boost the immune system in the body, so let us unite with our international community to try stop the spread of this virus,” Cardinal Sir John said in April.

The ongoing calls by the Health Department and Prime Minister James Marape for people to get vaccinated seem to be falling on deaf ears.

Challenges in carrying out a successful vaccination campaign points to the lack of proper awareness.

The Pacific Advocate’s questions to Health Minister Jelta Wong regarding awareness and educating the public on vaccines went unanswered.

A health worker prepares to do tests for Covid-19 coronavirus outside a makeshift clinic in a sports stadium in Port Moresby. Photo: Andrew KUTAN / AFP
7 Comments
  1. Pestro Timothy 9 months ago
    Reply

    So many types of vaccines being developed by world powers, when the world has only one type of vaccines for polio, measles etc.
    So many videos being circulating in the social media against this vaccines by some highly professional doctors from around the world saying these vaccines are clinically trail vaccines.
    They have to clears the air on this issue before vacation.
    People are worried about this vaccines due this negative publicity in social medias.

  2. Sallie Sallie Sonnie 9 months ago
    Reply

    My comments are:

    1. Experimental Vaccines will create more variants, they will not heal as this has been proven and we have Delta variant. It means Vaccines are delivering low doses not powerful to destroy Covid virus. I studied genetics and pathology so I speak from experience as well.
    2. PNG it is not disastrous like any other place in the world so take it easy. Stop rushing and pushing people!
    3. It’s a life or death case to even get Vaccines so let people decide for the disasters they may face.
    4. Health officials are not declaring health officials who die as Covid 19 patients but they are declaring any other persons who die as Covid 19 patients and this is the terrifying truth! This is something fishy backstage!
    5. Is Covid 19 scammmmmm! Read 1-4 above, answers lie there!

  3. Elijah Baim 9 months ago
    Reply

    The covid pandemic was deliberately manufactured for a purpose which is to make people sick so the vaccines will be used. The vaccines have a purpose to make people become moving human towers for the 5G network for global control by the rich and powerful. The recent reports of vaccines injuries and deaths. We now have a full understanding of the covid 19 pandemic which is not even a pandemic.

  4. Sol Tee 9 months ago
    Reply

    It’s not the virus that people are scared of, it’s the vaccine and how the world and all super powers are pushing for everyone to be vaccinated that’s what making people suspicious and scared. I ain’t taking the vaccine, none of the people in my community fell ill or died of the vaccine so what’s the rush!

  5. David Pia 9 months ago
    Reply

    It’s good to vaccinate all citizens whose age is 18 and above so that it prevent spread during this world pandemic and provide protection ( immunity) to individuals and families so that it can develop head immunity. Some of these current vaccines are made by well known companies like Serum Institute of India who make Astera Venica known as convisealed. They are not new to making such vaccines. We might have some short term side-effects as it is common to all vaccines. I therefore, recommend every one who have a age of 18 years and above to be vaccinated, otherwise we might face a similar scenario like India who had a second wave when they were not anticipating killing 200,000 people in a shorter period of time. ❤👍😍

  6. Rocky Kundal 9 months ago
    Reply

    Despite all the scepticism about the issue I’d rather be vaccinated.

  7. Winceslas Harava 9 months ago
    Reply

    No because getting vaccinated does not prevent me from getting infected again.

    Add this as one of your options.

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