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Patrolling with kiaps in remote PNG

Too much conspiracy; go get vaccinated

Scene at Rita Flynn  17 May (Joel Hamari  The National)
Monday's scene at the Rita Flynn vaccination centre (Joel Hamari The National)

| Academia Nomad

PORT MORESBY - This photo from The National newspaper confirms what I saw last Monday at the Rita Flynn vaccination centre - that foreigners dominated the place where vaccines are administered.

The sad thing is I wasn’t surprised when I saw many foreigners lining up for the vaccines– vaccines that were sent for Papua New Guineans.

A vicious misinformation campaign has dominated WhatsApp and Facebook groups in PNG since the vaccines were announced.

I’ve witnessed an unprecedented level of PNG conspiracy theories against vaccines and an unprecedented number of people sharing content that discredits vaccines. They include a large number of educated professionals who are critical of vaccines.

ABC International Development and the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme reported that 62% of Facebook posts about Covid-19 vaccines in the Pacific region make unsubstantiated claims about them.

Popular falsehoods include that vaccines have been manufactured to track personal data, they are counter to the foundations of the Christian faith, and they impact fertility. These are circulating widely across the region.

PNG is a country of about nine million people, so the 132,000 AstraZeneca doses donated to PNG through COVAX will hardly put a dent in the response to Covid-19 in PNG.

Every dose should be going to Papua New Guineans who, unlike foreigners in PNG, have limited access to quality health facilities. Government facilities are mostly run down and struggling to keep up with demand.

When the vaccines arrived, preference was given to the frontline workers, starting with health workers. Later, vaccines were offered to the public.

I was part of the staff at the University of PNG who were asked to get vaccinated. It was voluntary. Less than half the staff went to Rita Flynn where the vaccines are administered.

I’m not sure whether it was vaccine hesitancy or the email advice (toksave) being sent out late which resulted in low turnout. Perhaps both.

At Rita Flynn, I saw Europeans, Indians, Asians and Papua New Guineans. I didn’t keep a tally, but in the two or three hours I was there, I saw many foreigners lining up. At one time, the chairs before me were dominated by foreigners.

It’s a concern that few Papua New Guineans showed up for the vaccines. It’s open to the public, now the front liners have been vaccinated, but it’s sad to see many Papua New Guineans hesitating.

Vaccines are scarce, especially in PNG. And the little we have seems to be benefiting the foreigners because Papua New Guineans are reading and watching too much conspiracy content.

Since we are trying to make PNG a Christian country, let me quote a scripture from the Bible, Hosea 4:6: “My people perish because of a lack of knowledge…”

If people die in PNG from Covid-19, the reasons will be twofold: first, a break down in health system; second, a lack of correct information or rejection of science.

Our front liners, prime minister, ministers, departmental heads, teachers and lecturers have been vaccinated. So if vaccines do kill people, PNG should be in disaster mode.

By now you should have lost most, if not all, of your medical doctors and nurses, your prime minister and politicians, departmental heads and teachers.

I got vaccinated and, out of curiosity, placed a coin on my arm at the spot where I was injected. But the coin fell off my arm.

TestThere are videos circulating on WhatsApp showing coins getting stuck on arms after vaccination.

A friend of mine explained that coins get stuck on smooth surfaces, so on the upper arm, where there’s less hair, coins will get stuck especially if they are sweaty in the Port Moresby heat.

But the coin fell off my arm where I was injected. Here's the video.

After vaccination, I felt pains on the second day. The nurses explained that that would be the case.

 I was advised to drink Panadol and get some rest so that’s what I did. It’s the third day and I’m feeling good.

So my people, go get vaccinated.


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AG Satori

I woke up rebooted in MSNBC land hearing Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe talk about vaccines that were first done in US since 1814.

Gee weeah - that is some 200 years ago. A lot of time since then. And Joe reads a list of other vaccines that have become part of life. He read out seven more names.

It is good that Jimminy still is outside on the kunai grass surf riding.

I am not a medical person but I understand we have in PNG hospitals that issue, as a right, vaccines for children.

Polio vaccines in PNG are a must but from time to time you see evidence of those that missed out, not because of anti vaccine sentiments but because the vaccine was just not available when the child was small.

When you see the results of a missed vaccine manifested later in real life, you wonder how it is that, when polio vaccine is said to be must, it is not administered.

I just wish that those who get on social media to spew anti vax diatribes can also take the time to look up polio on Google.

It is an incurable illness but vaccinations stop it in its tracks. The nurses at the hospital give it out as the 'bebi suts' when the 'mama kisim pikinini igo skelim pikinini long hausik or klinik' that the government goes to great pains to provide.

The internet lists other vaccines that are available and our nurses have been tasked to administer them. I am educated by this Google knowledge at a press of a button and whooping cough is something that I will demand that the hospital have a cure if not a vaccine without me asking about the efficacy of it.

There are even vaccines that are available for tetanus, chickenpox (varicella) diphtheria, flu (influenza), hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), HPV (human papillomavirus), measles, all 14 of them.

I first got wind of this anti vax sentiment when there was 5G and Bill Gates having to introduce one world government - OWG - bullshit with the end of times - Danielic rhetoric that was spewed by end times religious doom prophets.

A fellow worker Facebooked me on it and I told him to destroy his current phone as no matter how, one bandwidth, 3G, 4G, 5G or OWG who ever was going to force microchips on you, could already do so with the myriads of personal data that was around already.

It needed no 5G or vaccine shots to introduce OWG. You already have data available on the common roll, at the hospitals, at the schools, at the payroll office, at the banks, at the hotels.

Our everyday movements are monitored by all these transactions that happen on these sites and, if that if not enough, we have hawk-eyed satellites in the sky that don't need your permission to keep an eye on you, even when you sit on the toilet pot and do your poetic thing.

If the OWG comes, so be it, but in the meantime I need to go to sleep with the assurance that my child is not going to grow up to die in excruciating pain and deformity because I refused him or her polio shots.

Having had the first shot - the second on 16 June - I am going out knowing I am not going to introduce Covid19 to my friends and workmates, and I will be coming home and to bed knowing I will not introduced Covid19 to my family. That assurance is making me have a great 'bel isi'.

Hello oh Jimminy - now what?

What? Jimminy says, it raining dogs and cats and the Storms, Rabbits and Eels have lost their games.

AG Satori

After a long while trying to convince other people that it was safe, I could not bring myself around to it.

Jimminy the black grasshopper was there in the back of my brain and saying 'here, just read another setback of the vaccine in Australia, never mind that it is one in 10 million. You could be the next two in 20 million with the complications'.

Well today at 3 pm Jimminy and I went to Rita Flynn Court to get my shots. Jimminy was trying to get me out saying there will be a long line, you have nothing to read, people will be fainting, allalla allalla and so on and on.

We went there at 3 pm (they got our phones and Jimminy was saying, you see) and got my first dose at 3.15 pm and my card at 3.30 pm. I got a nice number #1111, for Moresby South.

Oh the shot is nowhere near as painful as the one on the better posterior. Jimminy was disappointed.

Well now Jimminy and I are going to do some magnetic work. We started by placing the spanners on the shot site near the shoulder.

We are going to go watch rugby and see if we survive that. We let you know in the morning if we don't wake up. Yes if we don't wake up, we'll be waiting to be rebooted.

Jimminy, go to sleep if not take your umbrella, cap and go - don't forget your coat.

Philip Fitzpatrick

"I have now decided to adopt a new policy in life, 'Live and let be'.

"We can only convince the people that can be convinced that the vaccine is really a vaccine."

Two excruciatingly pertinent ideas Hazel, especially the second one.

Modified slightly and it's a handy life rule.

We can only convince the people that can be convinced that something is true.

Hazel Kutkue

Straight after I got my Covid-19 vaccine, my mother sent me a video of another conspiracy theory. She being my mum, who was very skeptical about everything regarding C-19, I took no notice.

On Thursday, she sent me two more videos of metallic objects being stuck to the vaccine site of various persons.
I had already by that time seen the videos so I didn't feel alarmed.

The first time I saw the video, I had experimented on myself with a 10 toea coin, various small metal pieces, and a magnetic bookmark. I did this on both my arms and the results were the same. Everything fell off. The magnetic bookmark was the one that fell off very quickly.

But to this date, my mother still thinks the vaccine is something else and has quoted Bible texts (which I have taken the time to read - but in truth I find no correlation between these things).

I tried explaining to her but I realised it will be in vain. 😅. I have now decided to adopt a new policy in life, 'Live and let be'.

We can only convince the people that can be convinced that the vaccine is really a vaccine.

Chris Overland

The depressing reality is that vaccine hesitancy is a problem across the world.

The same misinformation and anti-vaccination nonsense propagated across social media in PNG is pretty much identical to that being spread around the globe

It seems that many people are unable to distinguish between the accurate and reliable information available on a huge number of government and media sites and the bullshit spread through Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and other platforms.

This will needlessly slow down the roll out of the vaccine and so extend the pandemic for much longer than is necessary.

In a country like PNG, where there is already an acute shortage of vaccine, this will result in a great deal of needless death and misery.

All this is a sad commentary on the true nature and extent of human credulity and folly, which is clearly very much greater than I ever imagined in my wildest nightmares.

There is a great scene in the movie 'Men in Black' where the character played by Tommy Lee Jones is explaining to the character played by Will Smith why the US government has gone to such extraordinary lengths to hide from the public the fact that aliens exist on Earth.

Jones' character says: "A person is intelligent: people are dumb, panicky animals."

This pandemic is demonstrating that this explanation is surprisingly close to the truth.

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