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Just text 999: Vaccination to your door

The mass vaccination campaign has gone digital, with a new text-to-vaccinate service begun this weekend.

Anyone can now text 999 to ask for a mobile unit to come to their door if they were not able to reach a vaccination clinic over the last week. 

The service is currently for the Apia Urban Area.

The text message reads:

“URGENT! Have you been vaccinated for measles? 6 months – 19 years old? Unpregnant ladies 20 – 35 years old? Please URGENTLY CALL OR TEXT 999 for FREE. 

“FAASIASILAGA TAUA! Ua fai sou Tui Misela? 6 masina – 19 tausaga? Tamaitai’I 20-35 e le o ma’itaga? VILI PE TEXT VAVE MAI ILE 999. Leai se totogi.”

The service is being performed in collaboration with Digicel and Bluesky. 

With over a quarter of the population vaccinated in just over a week,  and 43 per cent of the population inoculated altogether, the mass vaccination campaign will be ramping up for a big month.

Volunteer vaccinator nurse Lexy Carroll said so far, everyone showing up to the clinics have cared to get immunised. The next challenge will be reaching those who don’t know to, or do not care.

Between the mass vaccination campaign (54,046 people) and the regular programme that was restarted in April (32,743 people), a total of 86, 789 people (43 per cent of Samoa) have been vaccinated against the highly contagious, incurable disease.

The Samoa Observer understands the Ministry of Health are working to publish which age groups have been vaccinated since the mass campaign began on November 20.

But they report the most vulnerable age group of children under four continue to be the lowest turnout to the public clinics.

“There remains a low turnout rate of infants and children aged 6 months to 4 years old. The Ministry of Health strongly advises families and parents to bring the children in for vaccination,” an earlier press release statement said. 

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