Since Daily Post published an article on COVID-19 vaccines for Vanuatu in the beginning of January, attempts to have further follow-up questions answered by the Ministry of Health have been futile.
Daily Post has made several efforts to contact the pandemic spokesperson Dr Russel Tamata for close to three weeks now through every channel of communication but he has remained unresponsive.
According to the last communication with the pandemic spokesperson, the COVID-19 Vaccine is due in August, and reason why it is delayed “is to ensure that we get the safest vaccine”.
On the heels of the vaccine story, the general public have raised similar questions and concerns parallel to that of Daily Post on social media and below are a few inquiries that desperately need a response.
1. Will the DG respect the recommendations of health professionals, primarily the Director of Public Health, when making recommendations and policy concerning vaccination?
2. Do we know which vaccine(s) are currently under consideration for use in Vanuatu?
2a. If yes, please list them.
2b. If no, please explain why, and explain how we know when distribution will take place if we don’t know whose vaccine we’ll be using?
3. Making vaccination legally compulsory would raise significant constitutional questions, and would be difficult, if not impossible to enact.
How does the government of Vanuatu propose to deal with human rights concerns if it does decide that everyone must be vaccinated?
3a. Are they proposing to vaccinate people against their will?
4. Why have the vaccine debated in parliament, were medical professionals present during this debate?
5. How much does the vaccine cost? Are we getting the cheapest vaccine on the market?
The above questions are concerns raised by the public and questions formulated by reporters, Daily Post is still awaiting a response.