BRYAN KRAMER MP
| Kramer Report
PORT MORESBY - After recently being infected and having recovered from Covid-19, I’m not considered high risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from the virus.
I do not require the immediate protection of the vaccine. So why will I take it?
I will take it to dispel the many false and misleading statements spread by a handful of people who are either poorly informed or just plain stupid when it comes to acknowledging the real risks that come from being infected with Covid-19.
And I want to stress the importance of the vaccine in reducing the spread of the illness and stopping serious illness and death.
Every day our immune system protects us from falling seriously ill and dying from viruses, bacteria infections or pre-existing health conditions.
The strength of our immune system may be affected by a number of factors: age, genetics (from our parents), underlying health, weight and the presence of diabetes, tuberculosis, heart conditions or cancers.
Not everyone has as strong immune system. And it can be hard to tell who does, and who does not.
If your immune system is healthy, you have a low risk of getting seriously ill or dying from Covid-19.
However, there are hundreds of thousands of people in PNG who do not have a strong immune system, they are already in poor health or are seriously ill.
Along comes Covid-19. It disrupts or suppresses a weak immune system to the point that it collapses.
These people end up seriously ill and may die from a combination of Covid-19 and the pre-existing health condition.
This is how Covid-19 has caused so many deaths. Most people don’t die from Covid-19 alone, but in combination with pre-existing health conditions the virus can crash the immune system.
The vaccine strengthens our immune system, so if we contract the virus it protects us from the illness.
Based on the recorded 123 million cases of Covid-19 worldwide, about 23 million (2%) of people infected fell seriously ill and died.
The majority of these people were older, may have had pre-existing health problems, were overweight, had heart problems, cancer or diabetes.
Had they taken the vaccine, most would not have fallen seriously ill and would still be alive today.
When the vaccine arrives in Papua New Guinea, priority will be given to frontline health workers who choose to take it.
It will then be offered to essential workers before being rolled out to the at-risk population and then more broadly.
It will not be compulsory to take the vaccine – in the short term we simply won’t have enough to vaccinate the entire population.
So there is no point people posting endlessly against compulsory vaccination.
The simple fact is, we won’t be forcing anyone to take it, and many people who want it are likely to miss out in the immediate term as essential workers are prioritised.
But we hope that everyone who wants to take it will have access by the end of the year.
No-one is helped by hysteria and fake news about compulsory vaccination and population control.
The vaccine is coming and those smart enough and responsible enough to take it will have that opportunity.
Bryan Kramer is Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Justice