The launching marked the first batch of 1,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine which OTML received from the National Department of Health.
OTML Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Musje Werror led the Company’s senior management and employees, including OMTL contractors, business partners, Tabubil Hospital staff, and teachers to receive their first dose of the vaccine.
Two-hundred and thirteen people were vaccinated during the launch.
A further 150 people have already registered to be vaccinated as well.
“The support we have received from everyone who made the decision to keep themselves, their families, colleagues and our operations safe from COVID-19 by getting their first dose of vaccine during the launch was very encouraging,” Mr Werror said.
He added, “However, there is still a long way to go to achieve herd immunity so that we can return to some level of normality.”
Mr Werror said the Company is encouraging all its employees, contractors, public servants, town residents, business partners and teachers to receive the vaccine because it is important for their wellbeing and that of their families and communities, as well as the continuity of operations.
However, he re-affirmed that the decision to be vaccinated remains voluntary.
Tabubil Hospital Administrator Margareth Samei said the significant number of people who received the vaccine during the launch was a reflection of the level of vaccine awareness her medical team had presented to front line workers such as teachers, bankers, shop attendants, security personnel, and health care workers in the last week.
Ms Samei said, “The hospital has been working together with OTML to conduct awareness on the vaccine, and its health benefits which has helped people to make informed decisions before they get the jab. We will continue this awareness throughout the Company’s operations so that more people have the correct information on the vaccine.”
OTML Superintendent for Logistics Operations, Walimu Karo, received the vaccine.
He said, “People overseas have taken the vaccine and they are beginning to lift restrictions such as allowing people into stadiums to watch rugby. That’s basically why I wanted to get the vaccine so that our lives can return to normal."
Since the pandemic began in March last year, mining operations at the Ok Tedi mine have been suspended twice due to an escalation of COVID-19 positive cases.
Photo credit: OTML