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PM Marape siblings take coronavirus jab together
00:17 am GMT+12, 07/04/2021, Papua New Guinea

Prime Minister James Marape was the first Papua New Guinean to be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccines supplied by the Australian government last Tuesday afternoon in Port Moresby.
 
Pictures of Marape’s two brothers being vaccinated shortly after him were later circulated on social media that night.
 
While there were concerns raised on the two not being health workers, many Papua New Guineans understood the significance of that moment and many were moved to tears.
 
In this interview with Warren Marape, he tells of what it was really like behind the curtains for the Marape brothers.
 
“It was a Melanesian thing, the Prime Minister did it for the love of his country and Larsen and Toby did it for the love of their brother,” he said.
 
“We are close – so when we heard that James had volunteered to be vaccinated first, we were worried – we were concerned.
 
“What made it worse was that there were so many conspiracy theories and even some doctors and educated Papua New Guineans posting in public forums and social media against the AstraZeneca vaccines, but James told us that leadership comes with responsibilities, and he should be the first to be vaccinated.
 
“So Larsen and Toby, who work with James as his protocol officers, stood up and they told him, “if you get vaccinated, we will too, if there are side effects we will face that too, but if you go in, we will come in” and that’s what happened.”
 
Warren was a bit emotional while speaking to the Post-Courier, saying that “you’d have to be a Papua New Guinean to understand the love and respect they showed for their brother”.
“James was silent, he didn’t say anything, he went in and they went in with him,” he said.
 
“I was so emotional, seeing my three brothers going into the National Football Stadium to be vaccinated; I didn’t wait for them to come out, I drove off.
 
“It’s really a Melanesian thing, that other people won’t understand – but a Papua New Guinean will stand by his brother; if it means to die with his brother, he will.”
 
“We stand together as brothers and whatever the consequences, we will face them together.”
 
Warren said for James to actually volunteer to be the first to be vaccinated was quite a big deal as the Prime Minister doesn’t like needles.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
 


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