Territory Gov't. offers $600,000 cash prizes to vaccine

The American Samoa government has stepped up its COVID19 vaccination campaign with a grand raffle valued at US$250,000 ($620,000 tala) in cash prizes.

The cash prices are being offered as incentives to get more residents step forward to be immunised with the territory government's goal of getting up to 80 per cent of its eligible population fully vaccinated.

According to Talanei news as of June 7 2021 about 63.9 per cent or 23,588 residents eligible to get vaccinated for COVID-19 have received at least one dose. Out of that total 56.1 per cent or 20, 712 people are now fully vaccinated. 

The data includes those in the age group of 12-15 who are now qualified to get the Pfizer vaccine. A total of 172 have received their first shot and seven of them are now fully vaccinated.  

In terms of the total population of American Samoa, this translates into 49.8 per cent of people receiving at least one shot versus 43.7 per cent who are now fully vaccinated.

American Samoa's grand raffle has two major objectives: it is designed as an incentive programme by the Governor and Lt. Governor to increase the number of fully vaccinated residents in the territory while also rewarding those who have gotten their shots and saved lives. 

According to the according to the territory government's website, through increasing the vaccination percentages, American Samoa can begin to enjoy returning to normalcy as the rest of the United States begins to relax COVID-19 restrictions.

“Increasing our general population's capability to defend against the virus, gives our territory a fighting chance to manage the response to the virus if it reaches our shores.” 

Meanwhile, Samoa's Ministry of Health Director General, Leausa Dr Take Naseri said a total of 61,850 doses have been dispensed and 52,755 has been administered as first dose. 

And over 9,000 eligible members of the population have received their second shot and are fully vaccinated against the virus. 

Last week the National Emergency Operation Centre (N.E.O.C.) announced it is pausing its nation-wide mass rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations due to Samoa's extremely low supplies of vaccine doses.

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