Vaccinations start slow in Vaimauga 3 and 4

The nationwide vaccination rollout has now reached Vaimauga No.3 and Vaimauga No.4 districts but with less people showing up to get the first dose of AstraZeneca. 

The Samoa Observer visited vaccination sites such as Magiagi, Tanugamanono, Matautu Tai, and Vini Fou and noted that there were not many people. 

Last week, Vaccinations were being administered in various areas including the districts of Vaimauga No.1 and No.2.

The Church Minister for the Vini Fou Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) Rev. Tasele Tuluauau stated in an interview with the Samoa Observer on Tuesday that it is good that the vaccination programme has reached their area.

"It is a great opportunity for our village," he said.

He added that it is also a good opportunity for the nearby villages as it is close to their homes, explaining that the vaccination programme is a great plan by the Government to go out into each district. 

Rev. Tuluauau encouraged communities to go ahead and get their first vaccination shots done at the local sites. 

According to the preacher, these are opportunities that should be used by the public as it protects them from disease and for those who are planning to travel overseas. 

He explained that Vini Fou is not a big village and most of the people in the village were getting vaccinated yesterday [Monday] and today with the majority showing up in the evening when they come back from work. 

Re. Tuluauau reiterated that they are giving the opportunity to nearby villages as other vaccination sites are far. 

He is of the view that by Friday there will be 100 people in the village who have been vaccinated, however, he revealed that there are some people who are afraid of the vaccine because of what they hear or see on the internet. 

Rev. Tuluauau emphasised that the vaccine is important and that he has already been vaccinated and nothing has happened to him. He said he feels strong and happy. 

He further stated that travel will now be easy with the vaccination card, yet another reason for the public to get themselves vaccinated. 

A few days ago, the Ministry of Health confirmed that more than 7,000 residents of Samoa have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

In an online statement, the M.O.H. stated that a total of 7,159 had received their first vaccination shot against COVID-19, as of Saturday; 4,092 males and 2,397 females. 

Saturday's vaccination figures is a 43 per cent increase from the last update they provided on Thursday of 4,991. 

In the last week, the vaccines have been administered in the villages of Vaimauga No.1 and Vaimauga No.2, namely, Laulii (two booths), Vailele, Fagalii Tai, Fagalii Uta, Moata'a (2), Tanoalei'a, Vaivase Tai and Vaivase Uta. There remains a fixed site at the main hospital. 

Vaccinations in Matautu Tai were held at the Matautu Tai C.C.C.S. Hall where there were a few people present at the vaccination site on Tuesday afternoon. 

Filifilia Solapo, who is a member of the Matautu Tai C.C.C.S. Women's Committee told the Samoa Observer on Tuesday that the vaccination programmes have been slow in their area. 

She is of the view that people in the district did not hear about the announcement that vaccinations will take place at the church hall.

According to Solapo, there were only 16 people who were vaccinated yesterday [Monday] and only 6 by Tuesday afternoon.

She added that there should be 50 people in their village to get vaccinated, but thinks that there should be 200 to 300 people in Vaimauga No.3 to get vaccinated. 

"Here in Matautu Tai, the announcement was made after the church service on Sunday," she said. 

She has not received her vaccine yet and is giving the opportunity to the people in their village.

She advises the public to get their vaccines as there is now an opportunity. 

Ms. Solapo also mentioned that some people are afraid to get vaccinated because of what they hear from other people. 

The 24,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses arrived on 9 April via airplane from New Zealand.

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