29 April 2022, Apia Samoa. The Government of Australia, in partnership with UNICEF, have once again stepped in with another timely delivery of Pfizer vaccine doses to assist with Samoa’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the impacts of the Covid-19 community outbreak.
The shipment of 40,950 doses of Pfizer arrived into Samoa this past Sunday 24th of April. The additional vaccines is the second shipment this year under the Australian Government’s partnership with the Government of Samoa and UNICEF. In March 70,200 doses of Pfizer were delivered, also just in time for Samoa’s booster rollout. Australia’s total assistance of Pfizer vaccines delivered under this partnership now stands at 111,150.
Samoa Prime Minister Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa has repeatedly reminded through public addresses to the nation, that vaccination remains the best defense to the pandemic.
The uptake of Covid-19 booster shots has been incredible, with just under 70,000 doses administered since the program commenced under a month ago, or just over 55% of eligible adults.
Businessman and member of the community, Mr Kresten Stunzner, says receiving a booster provides an extra layer of protection from serious disease and death.
“I got my booster shot to keep my family and friends safe,” said Mr Stunzner.
“With Covid now circulating in our community, we all need to do our part to protect Samoa.”
Mr. Stunzner is one of thousands who are heading to vaccination sites across Samoa, to get their Covid-19 booster. Samoa launched its vaccination programme over 12 months ago in April 2021, and a high percentage of the population had been double vaxxed well over six months ago, meaning they are all now in need of boosters.
Acting High Commissioner of Australia, Mr Barry Patterson has commended the Ministry of Health’s efforts in pushing vaccinations throughout Samoa.
“A hearty fa’amalo to the Ministry of Health and people of Samoa for rolling up your sleeves!” said Mr Patterson. “Covid-19 vaccines remain one of the best tools available to us to protect ourselves and our loved ones against the virus”.
Mr Patterson said this being World Immunization Week, it serves as a timely reminder to ensure all vaccinations are up to date as the best protection for vaccine preventable diseases such as measles, rubella and Hepatitis B.
The Government of Australia has also assisted with Astra Zeneca vaccines, which is done separately under its direct assistance for Samoa. In February an Australian Defence Force flight delivered an additional 10,000 doses of the Australian-manufactured AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
Earlier this month, Samoa received 86,000 Australian-funded Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to help Samoa drive down new infections and continue with the transition to ‘living with covid-19’.