01 February 2022, Apia Samoa. An Australian Defence Force flight has tonight delivered an additional 10,000 doses of the Australian-manufactured AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
The supply arrives into Faleolo Airport just as Samoa’s Ministry of Health announced it had run out of supplies.
Members of the public who had come in to be vaccinated today were turned away by a sign on the door of the EPI vaccination centre in Moto’otua.
Tuasivi District Hospital in Savaii today also confirmed they had run out of supplies over the weekend. “We don’t have a supply at the moment. So many people came in since the lockdown to be vaccinated.. a new supply should be in by next week,” said a staff member at Tuasivi.
Today, Australia’s Defense Force are seen at Faleolo International Airport conducting a successful contactless delivery of the 10,000 vaccines.
Last July, Australia had also sent a shipment of 10,000 Covid19 AstraZeneca vaccines in efforts to avoid any delay to Samoa’s immunisation roll out.
Australia has shared more than 60,000 doses with Samoa, in addition to an investment of AUD$130 million to the COVAX facility.
Australia’s continued support to Samoa’s response to COVID-19 goes beyond vaccines. Samoa’s Pacific neighbours have also recently delivered testing equipment, 50 oxygen concentrators and over 3,500kg of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and consumables to ensure essential supplies are available.
“The PPE in particular will help keep Samoa’s frontline workers safe – we thank them for their service,” stated Australia’s High Commissioner to Samoa HE Emily Luck.
Prime Minister Hon Fiame Naomi Mata’afa expressed Samoa’s appreciation to Australia for stepping in with the timely supply of vaccines.
“Samoa shares a close partnership with Australia, and we are grateful for these vaccines at this critical time as we feel the impacts of this global pandemic,” said Fiame.
“We urge all those who are yet to have their vaccine to get vaccinated” added the Prime Minister.
HE Emily Luck handed the supply over to Director General of Health Leausa Dr Take Naseri.
“We know that vaccination makes a crucial difference in minimising severe disease and hospitalisations. This is certainly our experience in Australia, where many friends and family members, including within the Samoan-Australian community, continue to be directly affected by this global pandemic” said High Commissioner Emily Luck.
“Australia is pleased to continue to support Samoa’s response to COVID-19. As members of the Pacific family, Samoa and Australia will continue to work together to navigate the challenges that both our countries face from the COVID-19 pandemic”.
According to the latest publication of Samoa’s vaccination numbers from the Ministry of Health dated 21st of January – 86.4% or 105,257 of Samoa’s eligible adult population are fully vaccinated while 96.1% or 117,044 have had their first dose. That equates to 11,787 adults yet to have received their second dose, when Samoa went into lockdown on Saturday 22nd January.
Samoa shut down for two whole days in September 2021 as part of its mass vaccination roll-out led by the Ministry of Health and Samoa’s National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC).
Samoa has not had a community case since the global pandemic took the world by storm over two years ago. All of Samoa’s recorded cases have so far been repatriated citizens in isolation.