The Village Council of Tuanai in Upolu have agreed to impose a fine of $500 tala on any member of the village who refuses to get vaccinated.
The decision was unanimous at the Tuanai monthly meeting held on Monday 8 November 2021. According to a village chief Fa’alaeo Opeta, the aim is to encourage all members of the village to be vaccinated, and ensure the safety of the village in the face of the deadly virus that has affected the world over.
“We want to ensure we not only protect our village, but to also support the Ministry of Health’s efforts to ensure Samoa is fully vaccinated”.
The decision comes at a time when the Ministry of Health reports there are over 14,000 people now behind schedule for their second AstraZeneca dose.
Fa’alaeo said the response of their village has been very positive, however, the decision made at the Monday Aso Gafua meeting is to further ensure the safety of the village and place emphasis on the importance of getting the second dose to be fully vaccinated.
“Every family have been very supportive, but the Ministry of Health is reporting that many people are not coming in for their second dose.. This fine is to make sure there are no members from Tuanai being lazy and complacent to make sure they receive the second dose”.
Also the Sui o le Nuu or village link to the government through the Ministry of Community and Social Development, Faaleao said the rule is only for those eligible for vaccination.
“Of course it does not apply to those who are chronically ill and those who are unable to be vaccinated,” he added.
Fa’alaeo Opeta had walked the village of Tuanai during the two-day national lockdown to ensure families take advantage of vaccinators going door to door. He urges people to make sure they make the effort to go in to administer their second doses of the AstraZeneca.
Samoa’s vaccination efforts has achieved 95% for the first dose and 70% for the second dose of AstraZenaca for adults aged 18 and above.
Samoa is looking to conduct a second nation-wide lockdown to ensure those who are now due for the second dose are fully vaccinated by the end of the year.