Government declares mass vaccination campaign success

Ministry of Health figures show 114,000 eligible Samoans have at least received the first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the country’s two-day vaccination drive this week. 

The figures, released after the national Thursday-Friday lockdown show that more than 94 per cent, or just under 115,000 of eligible people, have received the first of the two-dose vaccine schedule.

Of this total 59,618 are male while 55,246 were female, health authorities said. 

But only 57,618 Samoans have been fully vaccinated or some 47.3 per cent of the eligible population. Of this figure, 31,236 are males and 26,382 are females.

For two days from Thursday and Friday, a total of 141 vaccination teams traveled across Upolu and Savai’i to administer the vaccines while commerce was completely closed on both days. 

Businesses closed from 8am to 6pm to public transport and unauthorised travel was banned and enforced by Police officers at various checkpoints.    

At the conclusion of the campaign, the Government acknowledged national support from those who took part in the campaign. 

A statement by the Minister of Health, Valasi Tafito Selesele, at the conclusion of the two-day campaign declared it a success. 

“We believe that when we conclude any work, we must give back the glory to God for his guidance that has led to a successful two-day campaign,” he said.

“We thank all our church leaders in every village for your support in our work; we are also aware that some churches had scheduled plans and activities but instead cooperated with our campaign.

“We also have not forgotten the contributions of [Members of Parliament], Government village women and men representatives in helping our vaccination teams to carry out their work.

“We also want to acknowledge the business community for their cooperation in closing their operations during the two-day campaign; we know this was not an easy decision for all of you but we have seen your support.” 

Valasi said that the mass vaccination campaign aimed at lifting the total number of people vaccinated against the virus, which has kept the country’s borders closed since last March when a national state of emergency was declared.

He acknowledged all the Government ministries that have contributed to the two-day campaign. 

“We have seen all Government ministries working together with smiles; it is a pleasant sight to see a Government that its people work in unison, we thank you all from chief executive officers to officials.”

Valasi also thanked non-government organisations for their support during the two-day lockdown vaccine campaign.

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