19 November 2021, Apia Samoa. Samoa needed to shut down for two days to effectively implement its follow-up mass vaccination campaign.
That is the view and advice from opposition leader Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi, during his weekly press conference with the media, now regularly held every Thursday afternoon.
Tuilaepa said the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) fully support the mass vaccination efforts that began before they left office, but in his opinion, a complete lockdown is needed for the vaccination campaign to be taken seriously.
“Lockdown for a two day period is my advice”.
The former Prime Minister then called on all ‘doubters’ to find it in their hearts to join Samoa’s national efforts, and ensure the protection of Samoa and its children.
“My advice to you, is to please act out of love and come on board with us,” urged Tuilaepa. “We need to work together out of love for others.. because if you don’t vaccinate, then you could put others at great risk,” he added.
Tuilaepa spoke directly, advising any doubters that if they only think of themselves, they could end up being the cause of widespread infections and cause illness and death to members of their own family, including young children at home.
“O le tuualalo ia i latou e le o atoatoa le latou talitonuga, ia alofa ia, taumafai mai tatou te o faatasi aua afai tou te le tui, o outou o le a auala atu ai le pipisi i isi foi tagata. E manaomia le tatou galulue faatasi ma le alofa mo tatou uso. Ia avea lou manatu na o oe, ae aafia ai i le gasegase ma feoti ai si fanau ma tagata i totonu o tatou aiga.”
In an live update, NEOC Chairman Agafili Shem Leo said there are 110 teams in Upolu and 40 covering Savaii.
Teams from the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) and the Ministry of Health are implementing Samoa’s “Follow-up Mass Vaccination Campaign” today, Friday 19 November 2021 from 8am to 6pm throughout the whole country.
He said there are 115,951 eligible adults over 18 who have had their first dose, which is 95.1% of the target population. The second dose or fully vaccinated at 89,818 or 73.7%.
“The target we have set for Samoa is achieve 99% full vaccination by Christmas”, he said.
Agafili revealed that in the first few hours of the mass vaccination follow-up campaign, they vaccinated 97 people with first doses of AstraZeneca, while they were able to administer 518 second doses by the time of the update.
The NEOC Chair called for community support to the teams dispatched across Upolu and Savaii. For those in Urban Apia, a vaccination centre is set up at Matagialalua behind the OF Nelson Memorial Library, as well as the Motootua National Hospital, at the old maternity ward.