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Vaccination reaches Sagaga, count nears 27,000

The nation’s vaccination rollout has reached Sagaga No. 1 and Sagaga No. 2 starting Monday with the total count currently at 26,889 as of May 23.

Almost 15,000 males (55.1 per cent) and just over 12,000 females (44.9 per cent) have received their first dose of the vaccine against the COVID-19 virus.

Starting Monday, health officials are administering the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from Faleula Methodist Hall, Aele Fou Methodist hall, Nuu fou AOG hall, Falelauniu EFKS hall, Malie EFKS hall, Afega Catholic hall and Tuana’I Methodist hall.

Additonal fixed sites are at the Fugalei Market, the Red Cross Headquarters in Tuanaimato, Health Centre at Matagialalua, Samoa Tourism Authority Fale on Beach Road, Ah Liki Bluebird Warehouse in Vaitele tai, Samoa National Provident Fund (NPF) Vaitele and National Kidney Foundation at Motootua.

Samoa remains to be COVID-19 free to this day, and the National Emergency Operation Centre continues to urge people to get their inoculation out of the way before the virus seeps through the borders.

Samoa's health chief Leausa Dr. Take Naseri encourages the public to receive their COVID-19 vaccine as neighbouring islands in the region continue to battle local outbreaks of the virus.

He said it is imperative that the public receive the vaccination, while Samoa is COVID-19 free, in case the virus slips through our borders as repatriation flights continue to bring in returning citizens and essential workers.

"Our last line of defense is vaccinating against the COVID-19 virus, and this is why we are pleading to the public that if we do not have 98 to 100 per cent vaccinated of those eligible to receive it, it will be very hard for us to fight the virus and also make it harder for us to open our borders to the world," said Leausa.

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.

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