Day 2: Mass vaccination campaign on the move

The Government-driven mass vaccination campaign dispatched close to a hundred teams of mobile units as the sun was rising at the heart of Apia on Friday.

It is the second day of the complete shutdown of the nation as the country operates under orders of the state of emergency caused by the measles epidemic that has already claimed 62 lives and counting. 

Lurid singing of “E lelei mea uma” hymn from the C.C.C.S. song book echoed around town at 5:55am and was accompanied by a prayer by the Ministry of Commerce and Labour C.E.O., Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling before government staff and volunteers from the Digicel and Bluesky were dispatched. 

“We have close to a hundred teams already dispatched and we continue to appeal to members of the public to have a red indicator tied on their front yard to assist the teams,” said a member of the Disaster Advisory Committee, Assistant Commissioner, Tanuvasa Petone Mauga. 

"The hope is to get as much vaccination as we can and get our teams out to the areas that were not covered yesterday. It is not easy but it can be done." 

He said more information will be available at the end of the day. 

As of Thursday evening, some 7,000 vaccinations were recorded.

He calls on members of the public to cooperate with vaccination teams, on its second day of 'Door to Door Mass Vaccination Campaign’. 

More than 200 volunteers from Digicel and Bluesky will be collecting data entrance for the “smart data” collected at the data centre in front of the government building. 

Prior to dispatching the teams, the C.E.O. of Ministry of Public Enterprises, Elita Tooala acknowledged the teams going out to assist the health workers with the vaccination. 

Several Chief Executive Officers were seen bright and early with their teams. 

At the data centre Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i said there was a briefing before the volunteers from the Communication Companies were dispatched. 

He acknowledged the communication companies for stepping up to the plate.

“The only challenge we faced was the lack of data entrance on paper, the team from smart data needed to go across assisted with the entering of data. There were locations where the smart data was not readily available and was conducted manually. However the mistakes yesterday will better today,” he said. 

He said there were technical challenges out in the field but they managed to solve it. 

Volunteers who did not wish to be named level complaints about the delay in going into the villages, but the Minister says now is not the time to point fingers. 

One volunteer told the Samoa Observer this morning there is too much time wasted calling out the team numbers and allocating each teams it should have been done last night to save time. 

“We have spent almost 45 minutes waiting to be allocated, we have the technology to use to save time and allocate teams more efficiently, instead of what’s happening now,” said the volunteer.

It does not end here, once we’re dispatched then we go to the hospital and to pick up the doctors and nurses and we waste another half an hour there; I am complaining because we have the tools to allow us to do our work efficiently, but it is not being utilized,” according to the volunteer. 

The Minister urged the volunteers to follow the policies in place to ensure the mass vaccination campaign is a success. 

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