Vaccination roll out going well: Health Chief

The Ministry of Health Director General, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, says the nation’s vaccination rollout programme is running smoothly and there are no reports of complications from the vaccine.

As of last Friday May 28 more than 32,000 individuals received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, comprising a total of 17,814 males and 14,585 females.

“In truth, our vaccination programme continues to run well and no one in our view has encountered major complications or anything else,” Leausa said in the National Emergency Operation Centre’s (N.E.O.C.) latest press conference last week.

“And when there is something that raises questions, we review and often find that the occurrence is very far from the effects of the vaccine.

Administered by health officials, the mass rollout started in April and has been ongoing, moving from two constituencies to another each week.

Leausa also revealed that the Government of Australia has offered 10,000 doses each month to assist the nation’s efforts to fully vaccinate its eligible population.

He said New Zealand has also offered a batch which will become available for Samoa following endorsement in July this year.

The nation is on its second batch of vaccines with 28,000 received through the COVAX Facility two weeks ago following the depletion of the first 24,000 batch. Saturday’s figures show that the second batch is now fewer than 20,000.

Another 27,000 doses is expected to arrive early June in time for the second dose roll out starting 14 June.

The vaccine requires a second shot be administered 8-12 weeks after the first, in order to ensure full protection against the coronavirus.

N.E.O.C. interim chairman, Agafili Shem Leo reminded those who have received their first dose to keep their vaccination card safe as it will be needed for the second dose.

“It’s also good to memorise the date you were vaccinated and remember that there must be 8 to 12 weeks to receive your second dose to ensure the vaccine is at its most effective in the body to resist the virus,” said Agafili.

Starting Monday, vaccination will be administered in the villages of Sagaga 3 and Sagaga 4. They are, Aleisa Sisifo, Lauvaa Tai, Leauvaa Uta; Levi, Salepoua’e and Nono’a Saleimoa; Utualii and Tufulele.

The sites will not be open on Tuesday which is the Independence Day public holiday, otherwise it will be open from 9am to 6pm.

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

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