Vaccines to arrive on Friday

COVID-19 vaccines earmarked for Samoa will arrive in the country at 1pm on Friday, the caretaker Government has announced.

Interim Chair of the National Emergency Operations Centre, Agafili Shem Leo has announced that the COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in Samoa at 1pm in a message posted on the Government of Samoa’s Facebook page. 

He said that the wait is over for the country as it will get approximately 20,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccines will be air freighted into the country on an Air New Zealand flight from Auckland according to Agafili.

Upon their arrival the Ministry of Health led by Director General Leausa Dr. Take Naseri will begin preparations for their rollout, initially targeting frontline workers.

“A prayer service will be held on Monday next week to officially mark the arrival of the vaccines and to thank God for his protection upon us that up till now we are well protected," added Agafili.


He said health workers such as doctors and nurses will be vaccinated first followed by frontline workers before the wider population aged 18 and above.

It is understood the drugs are being brought into the country under the COVAX facility supervised by the World Health Organisation.

In a recent interview on radio 2AP, Agafili and Leausa said Samoa was one of the first states in the region to request vaccines under the global vaccine facility.

“Samoa will get their own share [of the COVID-19 vaccine], it is important to note that the public must be well informed of our preparations instead of being shocked or panic upon the vaccines arrival into the country and in terms of its distribution.

“When the vaccines arrive, we will start vaccinating people. We do not want our people to be suspicious and make the job of our vaccinators hard."

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