Samoa to receive second batch of COVID-19 vaccines

A second batch of the AstraZeneca vaccines is expected to arrive in Samoa today.

 The Assistant Director of the Ministry of Health, Tagaloa Dr Robert Thompson said 28,000 AstraZeneca doses are expected on the freight only flight due to arrive into the country as part of the special assistance from the COVAX facility.

He made the comment at a press conference Thursday.

Samoa’s Covid-19 vaccination programme got under on 18 April 2021, with Caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and Health Minister Faimalotoa Kika Stowers amongst the first to receive their initial dose.

AstraZeneca is a two-dose vaccine approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and distributed by the COVAX facility and its partners.

COVAX is co-led by CEPI, Gavi and WHO, alongside key delivery partner UNICEF.

National Emergency Operation Centre Chairman Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo said out of more than 15,000 people who have already been vaccinated, no one has experienced critical side effects from the doses.

“We encourage everyone to get vaccinated while we are in the grace period so that Samoa will be protected, for if there is a time Coronavirus reaches our shores.”

Agafili added Samoa has secured enough doses to cover the estimated 133,000 Samoan residents eligible for vaccination.