Samoa to Shut Down for Two-Day Mass Covid-19 Vaccination Campaign

"The purpose of the two-day mass campaign is to boost coverage so we can achieve a 99% vaccinated population"

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Government of Samoa, Ministry of Health, 19 September 2021.

The Ministry of Health have this afternoon issued a notice confirming a 2-day mass vaccination campaign will be held across the nation this coming Thursday and Friday 23-24 September – where the public are expected to stay home while vaccination teams move door-to-door across Samoa to ensure everyone eligible is fully vaccinated.

The notice warns that this Friday 24th September is the last day for anyone to access the first dose of AstraZeneca.

Samoa took a similar approach to achieve herd immunity against the measles epidemic. In early December 2019 Samoa shut down for two days as about 120 mobile teams moved throughout the islands to ensure every man, woman and child receives the MMR vaccination in efforts to contain the measles which at the time – had claimed the lives of 65 people.

The notice does not address the status of the two days in terms of workers’ wages, or employers’ obligation to pay staff for the two days of close-down.

As at 16 September 2021 Samoa has achieved 81.4% of first doses and 41.2% of second doses for its eligible population.

Samoa remains covid-free with stringent border controls imposed by Samoa’s committed frontline staff.

As our neighbors in New Zealand, Australia and Fiji continue with lockdowns in efforts to contain the virus, all citizens of Samoa are blessed to enjoy a covid free environment.

The Public Notice published in verbatim below sets out venues and a detailed list of those eligible as well as those who cannot be vaccinated such as pregnant moms and children under 18 years.

There has been an indication that Pfizer vaccines are being secured for children 12 to 18 years in the near future.

PUBLIC NOTICE:
NATIONAL COVID19 MASS VACCINATION
This Notice hereby informs the public of Samoa that our country will be conducting a COVID19 mass vaccination campaign for all those who have not yet received their vaccination.
The purpose of the two-day mass campaign is to boost coverage so we can achieve a 99% vaccinated population, to protect our families, communities and country.
The campaign will be on the following dates:
• Thursday, 23rd September 2021 and
• Friday, 24th September 2021
The Ministry of Health Vaccination teams will be working closely with the Communities to implement this campaign through the support and guidance of the District Hospitals and the Government VillageWomen and Men Representatives to ensure that every eligible household gets vaccinated.
The vaccination teams will be allocated in every village and will go directly to the residences.
All members of the public
are advised to remain at home including those who are staying at hotels during the vaccination so that the teams can conduct their work in checking vaccination status and administering vaccines to those eligible.
The following fixed sites that will also be available on these dates include;
• All District Hospitals including the Tuasivi Hospital
• Health Credentialing Centre at Moto’otua
All those who are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine include the following;
• People of 18 years and older
• People who are most at risk of getting severely sick if they get COVID-19. This includes people living with Heart Disease, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Respiratory Illnesses, HIV, Cancer, Kidney Diseases, Tuberculosis, Rheumatic Heart Disease
• Mothers who are more than 8 weeks postnatal
Those who will not be vaccinated include;
• Pregnant mothers
• Mothers who are less than 8 weeks postnatal
• People;
– Who are bedridden
– With a weak immune system including people who have been on steroids for a long time and those on active cancer treatment
– With a bleeding disorder
– With a known history of severe allergic reactions to vaccines that for example may result in skin rash, swelling of the throat and eyes and breathing difficulty
– With a high fever (>38º) or are very sick on the day of vaccination.
– Over 85 years old (optional)
– Under 18 years old; and
– People who have already been vaccinated for COVID-19 and those not yet due for their second dose (which is given 8-12 weeks after the first dose)
When preparing to get vaccinated it is important to have a good meal and drink plenty of water before getting vaccinated. Make sure that you give the vaccinator all the details about your health conditions, history of any allergies, medicines you are taking or took recently on the day of the vaccination, history of bleeding disorder and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Vaccinators will wait and observe you and others vaccinated in your household for at least 20 minutes after vaccination.
There may be some possible and common side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine which include pain or swelling at the injection site, tiredness, chills, fever or headache.
Majority of people do not have any side effects and if you have pain or fever, you can take over the counter Panadol, drink plenty of fluids and rest. These side effects should go away in a few days on their own.
It is also important to note that the 24th of September will be the last day of Vaccination for the COVID-19 Astrazeneca first dose, therefore we urge the public to be more health conscious, get vaccinated, and continue to take all other COVID-19 prevention measures.
We request the support of everyone so that Samoa remains safe from COVID19.
For more information, please contact the MOH Call Centre: 800-6440 or NEOC Call Centre: 997 or the MOH Facebook page @healthsamoa.
Do it for Samoa!
Faafetai,
Leausa T Dr. Take Naseri
Director General of Health