More than 22 percent fully vaccinated

The total number of residents who have been fully vaccinated has reached 27,418 accounting for 22.5 per cent of the nation's eligible population.

Of the 27,418 who have received their second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, a total of 14,403 are male and 13,015 are female.

More than 70,000 have received their first dose which is a total of 38,411 males and 31,987 females and close to 60 per cent of the population have received their first dose of the vaccine.

The AstraZeneca vaccine used in Samoa requires a second dose to provide additional immunities against the virus. The mass vaccination programme has been rolling out since April, with the second dose starting in June.

Those due for the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination will be required to have them dispensed at fixed sites, where they will undergo precautionary monitoring for potential adverse effects.

Last month, the Ministry of Health's Director-General, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, said overseas research has found that the second dose of the vaccine (typically administered between eight to 12 weeks after the first) is more likely to produce an adverse reaction than the first.

“For our second dose, you have to go to the hospital,” he said at a National Emergency Operation Centre (N.E.O.C.) press conference.

“There will not be a mobile vaccination programme for the second dose unless there are special reasons [as to] why you cannot come to the hospital.

“Many studies have found that most people react to the second dose, so it is better if you come to our fixed sites.

Fixed sites other than the Motootua hospital include 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.

But people in rural areas are not expected to make the journey to Moto’otua to receive their shots; there are fixed sites located in district hospitals, Leausa said.

The Government aims to vaccinate the majority of the eligible population by the end of September or October.

Leausa aims to vaccinate 99 per cent of the eligible population to help protect the ineligible population through achieving what is known as 'herd immunity' against the virus.

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