Vaccine drive continues; nears 25,000

The nation's total vaccination count against the COVID-19 virus has reached 24,893 as of Thursday, new Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) figures show.

This follows the arrival of the second batch of vaccines from the World Health Organisation managed COVAX facility, which supplies the nation's mass vaccine rollout.

On Thursday alone, a total of 1,445 people received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine across more than ten active sites.

Of the 24,893 individuals who have been vaccinated a total of 13,776 are males and 11,127 are females. The vaccine requires a second shot to be administered 8-12 weeks after the first, in order to complete inoculation.

Samoa started with 24,000 doses of the vaccine and is now using their second batch of 28, 000 which arrived last Friday through the COVAX facility. The same batch will be used to administer the second jab on 14 June to await another supply expected to arrive in early June.

According to the M.O.H., pregnant or breastfeeding women, people who are bedridden, less than 18 years old and those over 85 years old (optional) are amongst those who will not be vaccinated.

Others who will not be vaccinated include those with a high fever (above or equal to 38 degrees), weak immune systems including those who have been on steroids for a long time and those receiving active cancer treatment, and people with bleeding disorders, known history of severe allergic reactions to vaccines including skin rash, swelling of the throat and eyes and breathing difficulty.

People who can be vaccinated include those who are 18 years and older and people who are most at-risk of getting severely sick if they get COVID-19 such as people living with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory illnesses, H.I.V., cancer, kidney diseases, tuberculosis, and rheumatic heart disease.

For this week, vaccinations have been administered in the Ministry's "Zone Three", Faleata No.3 and No. 4, namely at the University of the South Pacific Campus, Toamua Catholic Hall, Saina Methodist Hall, Samoa National Provident Fund (S.N.P.F.) Vaitele Office, the Bluebird Warehouse in Vaitele tai, Vaitele uta Methodist and Catholic Halls, and the Vaitele fou Methodist and Livingstone Church Hall.

Additional fixed sites include the Fugalei market and the Red Cross headquarters in Tuanaimato.

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