01 April 2022 Apia Samoa. Samoa is currently rolling out a mass booster vaccination campaign as the country enters its third week of code red alert level 3 lockdown, in efforts to curb the effects of Covid-19 in the community.
Samoa’s current Acting Director General of Health, Dr. Glenn Fatupaito, has delivered a special message on behalf of the people and government of Samoa, to the Government of Australia and UNICEF for the additional doses of Pfizer vaccines that has made this week’s vaccination rollout possible.
“As we face the challenges of the virus circulating in our community, we are grateful to the Australian Government and UNICEF for donating these vaccines,” said Dr Fatupaito. “This will greatly support our national COVID-19 vaccination program, and will ensure all Samoans are fully protected from the debilitating effects of this disease”.
In partnership with UNICEF, 70,200 Australian-funded doses of Pfizer arrived into Samoa on Wednesday, allowing the nation-wide vaccination program to be rolled out. Adults over 18 who had received the double-dose AstraZeneca vaccine are being boosted with Pfizer, and Samoa’s children in both the 5-11 and 12-17 age groups are receiving the two-dose Pfizer vaccines.
The latest shipment takes Australia’s total vaccine contribution to 134,200, and that is in addition to an investment of AUD$130 million to the COVAX facility.
The 70,200 doses is the first delivery in a commitment by Australia to provide 111,150 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
A statement from the Australian High Commission Office in Samoa confirms Australia’s ongoing commitment to Samoa’s covid response.
“These vaccines will enable the Ministry of Health Samoa to continue to expand their booster campaign, ensuring that everyone can access a booster..
“As we have done throughout the pandemic, Australia stands ready to support Samoa in its response to COVID-19”.
In February, the Australian Defence Force delivered 10,000 AstraZeneca vaccines just as Samoa had run out of supply.
The Pediatric Pfizer Vaccination programme for children aged 5-11 years was being rolled out across Primary Schools when the cases broke out in the community two weeks ago. However the Ministry of Health has since continued, and have successfully reached 96% first doses for that age bracket of children.
For 12-17 year olds, the prgramme was rolled out by the Ministry of Health last December before the school break and to date, over 90% of children in that age group have received their two doses of Pfizer.
Addressing Samoa earlier this week, Prime Minister Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa said, with the rapid surge of new infections, Government’s aim is to slow down transmissions and drive vaccinations to achieve the targeted coverage required for herd immunity.
“It is clear from clinical evidence that chances of developing acute symptoms of or likely death from covid-19 will be minimal with complete vaccination and a booster dose,” said the Prime Minister. “The prevalence of non-communicable diseases in Samoa makes it crucial for all to get maximum protection by completing all vaccinations including the booster dose,” she added.
The vaccination sites for Friday 01 April include EFKS Hall, Moataa, Vailele Primary School, EFKS Hall Vailele, Falefitu Primary School, Faatoia.
For Saturday they are EPI Building across from Seb n Renee Motootua, MOH Credentialing Centre Motootua, Health Centre Matagialalua and All District Hospitals across Savaii and Upolu.
The public are asked to call the free toll number 800-6440 for more information.