Papua New Guinea Vaccination Hesitancy High While Delta Variant Surges

The government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) struggles with vaccine hesitancy. Consequently, the PNG National Research Institute (NRI) recently “urged the government to re-strategize” on its approach to COVID-19 vaccination across this developing country. Research recently conducted by Professor Eugene Ezebilo, Deputy Director for Research for PNG NRI, articulates unacceptable vaccination rates considering the threats of COVID-19. What is the situation in PNG?

COVID in PNG?

With about 9.2 million people this poor Oceania nation now experiences its worst spike of SARS-CoV-2 according to data from Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Data Repository Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE). Both new cases and deaths are at an all-time high.

To date, the country reports approximately 28,487 cases and 335 deaths due to COVID-19. Only about 1.2% of the population is fully vaccinated and only 2.1% received one jab. 

By August 1 PNG received COVID-19 vaccine doses from AstraZeneca (COVISHIELD—Serum Institute of India), AstraZeneca (AZD1222 donated by New Zealand), and J&J/Janssen donated by the USA. Dose amounts were 132,000, 146,400, and 302,400 respectively,...

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