Public urged to show vaccination card
The public has been urged to carry their vaccination cards with them to avoid being stopped at spot checks during the follow-up mass vaccination for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.
Out of the 95.1 per cent vaccination rate for the first dose of AstraZeneca – more than 28,000 people have not yet been fully immunised or are yet to receive their second shot.
The National Emergency Operation Centre (N.E.O.C.) Chairman, Agafili Shem Leo said more than 10,000 are due for the second dose until the vaccine can be fully effective on them.
A total of 109 teams will be deployed on Friday for the second nationwide door to door campaign that targets those that are overdue with their second dose.
Agafili said they will look into the State of Emergency Orders and how they can deal with people that breach rules for the second vaccination drive.
The Director General for Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, said in a press conference on Tuesday, that those without a vaccination card and are unvaccinated will be dealt with by police.
Pressed to elaborate on how the unvaccinated population will be “dealt with”, Leausa said “there are criteria under the S.O.E. orders” to back the Government’s push for vaccination.
Asked if they will be penalised with a fine, he replied that it is based on legislation and there are penalties to deal with those who breach orders.
The N.E.O.C. Chairman said there is a possibility of looking into issuing fines for those who refuse vaccination in the future.
He acknowledged that the move would receive a lot of criticism and opposition from people due to their individual rights.
However, he said the ultimate goal is the security of the nation.
Agafili said at this time there are no solid plans or any policy discussion on compulsory vaccination.
Asked about the penalty for those who will be on the road on Friday without a vaccination card, the Chairman said they will look into the S.O.E. orders.
He added there is a standard fine for breaking quarantine requirements but it may not be applicable to this situation.
Meanwhile, Agafili has appealed to the business community, villages and the public to assist the vaccination team that will be deployed from 8am to 6pm on Friday.
Those who have not been vaccinated are asked to tie a red cloth or a red flag in front of their home to make it easier for the vaccination team to identify them.
However, children who need the Pfizer vaccine will have to be brought into the fixed sites in district hospitals to have their vaccine administered.
The Director General of Health said reaching the 95 to 98 per cent target of vaccination coverage will make it easier to reopen borders.
He said it will be a factor that will be considered in reducing the mandatory days in quarantine if the nation has a high rate of those who have been immunised.
Leausa then emphasised the importance of achieving herd immunity and protection of its community.
Companies and workplaces have been advised to provide a list of their staff showing proof that they have been vaccinated before Friday this week.
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