Fifty-five staff of Madang resort and Melanesian Tourist Services Ltd (MTS) have recently received their first dosage of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the bid to bring tourists back into their resort.
Described as a necessity, MTS’ Managing Director, Sir Peter Barter said that being vaccinated is the first step towards bringing tourism back into the country.
“We have all suffered greatly throughout this nightmare (pandemic) and if we do not reduce the spread of COVID-19 we cannot expect to see the return of international tourists.”
Sir Peter also commended the efforts, “more so the courage of the staff who took the vaccine.”
“I would like to congratulate all 51 staff that have received their first ‘jab’ of the AstraZeneca Vaccine, taking this vaccine they have 66% of protection from the virus and in 10 – 12 weeks, the 2nd ‘jab’ will increase the protections to 95% for an extended 6 months, by which time we should all begin to see a decrease in the virus’ movement.”
Thomas Dedmai, MTS’ Operations Officer said that he was pleased to receive the vaccine.
“I’m only in my mid-20’s, which I am sure that people are still sceptical about the age limit to take the vaccine, but I am happy that I have some form of protection against the virus and I am hoping that this is a step towards bringing the country back to some form of normalcy.”
Sir Peter also said that there were a few staff that were hesitant to receive the vaccine.
“I do not know what else I can do to my staff, but also to the general population, they have all heard fake news and have taken this false information as a fact.”
“I can only encourage my staff to make the right decision and to think of the interest of protecting themselves, their families, their future employment and the future of this beautiful country.”
Through the Melanesian Foundation, a charitable organization that was founded by Sir Peter, “the foundation has published and designed almost over 10,000 booklets and posters that have been printed and distributed to many organizations throughout PNG,” said Sir Peter.