It is all hands on deck with the Public Health team as they focus on coordinating the distribution of packages with parental consent forms and information brochures for schools across Upolu.
SGN caught up with some divisions within Public Health including the National Disease Surveillance, Health Protection and Enforcement Division, National Health Programs and Health Promotion teams while they were preparing the distribution packs for the day.
Principal Health Promotion Officer, Leatigaga Siufaga Simi said when national programmes are being rolled out by frontliners, their division with the support of all other divisions in Public Health help with the coordination of communication and advocacy such as this week, where it is their role to ensure that every school, parent and guardians are being informed through FAQ brochures and that consent forms and letters are being provided.
“Every parent needs to be well informed on information regarding COVID-19 Pfizer Vaccine before their children get vaccinated”, said Leatigaga.
“The schools near Apia have all been covered, so we are now moving to our district schools in the rural areas..”
The team’s distribution white board covers all schools in Upolu from the east coast at Aleipata, around to the Falealili district, moving right across Safata and Lefaga towards the west coast villages of Falelatai towards Manono and Apolima in the west.
“There is a tentative date for Savaii but we might change it due to national assessments”.
Leatigaga said all the information has been translated into Samoan, and brochures are available in both languages.
The information brochure sets down precautionary measures and a list of conditions that would not allow a child to be immunized, such as having a fever.
“If you or your child has a fever or they are feeling unwell, the advice is to wait until they are feeling better”.
Consent forms and information brochures were handed to parents of all urban schools before children were vaccinated on Monday and Tuesday.
Samoa’s Immunization Programme for kids was announced by Health Director Leausa Dr Take Naseri last week, to be rolled out in schools.
The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only vaccine authorized for kids aged 12 to 17. Experts at John Hopskins Medicine confirm, “All of the approved and authorized coronavirus vaccines are highly effective at preventing serious illness or death due to COVID-19”.
Close to 70% of Samoa’s adult population is fully vaccinated while 95% have received their first dose.