Papua New Guinea Battles COVID-19 and Health Workers ’ Vaccine Scepticism

Logistic and communication challenges to rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine are immense in the rural and remote highlands region of Papua New Guinea. Credit: Catherine WilsonBy Catherine WilsonCANBERRA, Australia , Jul 13 2021 (IPS) CANBERRA, Australia – Papua New Guinea (PNG), like many other Pacific Island countries, successfully held COVID-19 at bay last year, aided by early shutting of national borders. However, by March this year, the pandemic was surging in the most populous Pacific Island nation, and by July, it had reported 17,282 cases of the virus and 175 fatalities. PNG has a steep battle against the virus ahead, made more problematic by a high rate of refusal by health workers to take the vaccine. PNG’s Health Minister, Jelta Wong, stressed in an interview with Australia’s Lowy Institute for International Policy in April that “the vaccine will be the key to containing COVID-19 in our country.” But in Eastern Highlands Province in the country’s rural interior, Dr Max Manape, the province’s Director of Public Health, told IPS that “in our province, there is a huge COVID-19 hesitancy due to so much negativity of COVID-19 vaccinations in social media and we are finding it very hard to convince our fellow frontline workers, including health workers.” By early July, only 23.3 percent of all health and essential workers in the province were vaccinated, including 329 health workers. The situation is causing wider commun...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Asia-Pacific COVID-19 Education Featured Headlines Health Humanitarian Emergencies TerraViva United Nations Papua New Guinea (PNG) vaccine hesitancy Vaccines Source Type: news

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Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Coronavirus World news UK news Science Source Type: news
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Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Coronavirus World news UK news Science Source Type: news
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Source: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Article Source Type: research
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Source: UN News Centre - Health, Poverty, Food Security - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news
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