First dose vaccination count to hit 90,000

By Adel Fruean 26 August 2021, 1:00PM

Close to 90,000 people in Samoa have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine according to figures released by the Ministry of Health.

Data released by the M.O.H. on Wednesday show that 89,830 people have received the first dose of the vaccine which accounts for 73.7 per cent of the eligible population and comprise 47,398 males and 42,432 females.

And a total of 39,380 Samoans have been fully vaccinated thus far which represents 32.3 per cent of the eligible population with 21,173 male and 18,207 female.

The goal of the Ministry is to reach a 99 per cent rate for eligible people in the target population to receive their first dose of the vaccine by the end of August.

M.O.H. Director General, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri and the Chairman of the National Emergency Operations Centre, Agafili Shem Leo continue to appeal to members of the public who are eligible to get vaccinated in a national effort to protect themselves against the COVID-19 virus.

Agafili said that so far, there is slow progress of those who haven’t received their second dose of the vaccine.

“Please bear in mind that the deadline is between eight to 12 weeks for you to be vaccinated,” he said and added there are times when, “we can be extremely busy with everything but this is very important.”

Furthermore, Leausa said that everyone should be mindful that most of the vaccines have an expiry date.

He said that the vaccines that were brought in the country do not have a year before it expires such as the vaccines from New Zealand that will expire at the end of the year.

“We are still waiting, probably at the end of October; New Zealand will supply us with the Pfizer vaccine for [our people aged] 12-17 years old.

“Let us not take lightly what Fiji is going through with the COVID-19 cases, hundreds of people infected. Let us work together in getting our people vaccinated. 

“Many countries are feeling the effects of a new way because the Delta variant which can easily spread. We urge everyone to be vaccinated because you could spread it to your families and there will be.”

For those who have not been vaccinated, they can get inoculated at some of the fixed sites for vaccinations. They include the Ministry of Health Credential Building, EPI Main Office, Matagialalua Health Clinic, and the Samoa Tourism Authority Fale on Beach Road.

The M.O.H. also advised members of the public that for more details contact the number: 8006440.

Those who will not be vaccinated include: women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people who are bedridden, less than 18 years old and those over 85 years old (optional). 

The mass rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the nation’s villages began in late April. Samoa remains COVID-19 free and its state of emergency orders have relaxed. 

However, the N.E.O.C. and the M.O.H. continue to urge people to get their vaccination noting that neighbouring islands in the region continue to battle local outbreaks of the virus.

By Adel Fruean 26 August 2021, 1:00PM
Samoa Observer

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