Vaccination tops 15,000 residents in Samoa

More than 15,000 residents of Samoa have received their first dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 as of May 12, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.

A total of 1621 individuals were vaccinated on Wednesday alone across all vaccination sites; which is a 12 per cent increase from 13,408 who were vaccinated on Tuesday.

According to figures provided by the Ministry of Health on Thursday morning, a total of 15,029 have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine thus far and comprise 8,517 males and 6,512 females.

For this week, Vaccinations are being administered from 19 sites at Faleata No.1 and Faleata No.2, namely: Falelauniu tai, Falelauniu uta, Lotopa, Sinamoga, Alafua, Moamoa tai, Moamoa fou, Tuaefu, Vaimoso, Lepea, Vailoa tai, Talimatau, Vaigaga and Siusega. 

Sites have also been setup at the Fugalei Market and the Samoa National Provident Fund Office (S.N.P.F.) in Vaitele. 

The country started with 24,000 doses with a shelf life until the end of May. 

Samoa has two weeks to vaccinate some 8,900 individuals while the vaccines are still effective.

Samoa's health chief Leausa Dr. Take Naseri clarified in a previous press conference with the media not to confuse the vaccine shelf life with their expiry date.

He assured that while the first batch can be used after their shelf life, they won’t have the same impact as opposed to being used before the end of May. 

The Samoa Observer understands the next larger batch of AstraZeneca vaccines is on its way to Samoa but with freight delays its arrival date is unclear. But it is expected sometime in late May or early June. 

Leausa encourages the public to receive their COVID-19 vaccine as neighbouring islands in the region start to lose control over 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.

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