Covid-19 vaccines

Fiji announces vaccination registration and rollout

This was announced by the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong.

Over the weekend,12,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Fiji, making it the first Pacific island country to get vaccines through the Covax scheme.

Dr Fong said registering now would make work easier for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services while vaccines would continue to arrive in batches into the country.

Fiji first Pacific country to benefit from COVAX Covid-19 Vaccines

About 12,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine was sent to Fiji by the UN Children's Fund as part of the World Health Organisation's COVAX initiative.

The Fiji government said while the vaccine cost them $US30 million, AstraZeneca was ideal for the country's storage capability.

At least 600,000 Fijians need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to ensure the country is protected against infection, the government said.

It said about 6,000 front-line and essential workers would be the first to receive the jabs

Pacific athletes urged to get vaccinated

The Summer Games are scheduled to begin on 23 July, after being delayed by 12 months because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee said vaccination is "encouraged" but not compulsory for athletes.

Guam, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, American Samoa, Australia and New Zealand have begun vaccination programs in recent months.

Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) President, Dr Robin Mitchell, said if athletes had the option of receiving the vaccine they should take it.

Covid: Italy 'blocks' AstraZeneca vaccine shipment to Australia

The decision affects 250,000 doses of the vaccine produced at an AstraZeneca facility in Italy.

Italy is the first EU country to use the bloc's new regulations allowing exports to be stopped if the company providing the vaccines has failed to meet its obligations to the EU.

The move has been backed by the European Commission, reports say.

AstraZeneca is on track to provide only 40% of the agreed supply to member states in the first three months of the year. It has cited production problems for the shortfall.

Samoa's looks to boost capacity to administer Covid-19 vaccines

The Director General of Health said they want to make sure that every registered nurse is able to administer the vaccine to allow more people to be immunised.

Leausa Dr Take Naseri said Samoa would be administering the AstraZeneca vaccine which is more manageable under tropical weather conditions.

The vaccine is produced in India and is one of two that have been given Emergency Use Listing by the World Health Organisation.

TV1Samoa reported Leausa saying the need to prepare well for vaccination was one of the lessons learned during the 2019 measles outbreak.

Samoa nurses to be qualified vaccinators

“We noticed during the measles outbreak in Samoa that some nurses were not qualified and therefore unable to do vaccinations.”

“The Ministry of Health is working to put in place a revalidation programme for all nurses to become qualified vaccinators,” he said.

The first batch of the Covid-19 vaccines is expected to arrive in March.

Leausa adds the vaccines selected for Samoa need to be kept at specific and critical temperature levels.

Covax vaccine-sharing scheme delivers first doses to Ghana

A delivery of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Accra on Wednesday. The first recipients are due to be healthcare workers.

The Covax scheme aims to reduce the divide between rich countries and poorer nations unable to buy doses.

The programme is planning to deliver about two billion vaccine doses globally by the end of the year.

Ghana, which has a population of over 30m, was chosen as the first recipient of the free vaccines after promising quick distribution and meeting the criteria set by Covax.

Pacific panel discusses Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy among Pasifika

Faumuina Professor Faafetai Sopoaga says it’s important Pasifika understand the risks and benefits of taking the vaccine.

Faumuina says the main benefit of receiving the vaccine is that it protects people from Covid-19.

“The Pfizer vaccine is 90 to 95 per cent effective. So what that means is that when you have the vaccine, you will be protected from picking up this very serious disease that is affecting us all at this time,” says Faumuina, who's an Associate Dean of the Division of Health Sciences at Otago University.​

Marshalls leads Pacific's Covid-19 vax charge

The programme is funded by the United States and has been so successful the Micronesian republic has withdrawn from the global Covid-19 vaccine facility Covax, aimed at providing equitable access among low and middle income countries.

Covax, which is funded through wealthy governments and donor organisations, had committed 24,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to help the Marshall Islands achieve 20 percent coverage by year's end.

Deliveries were slated to begin next month.

Samoa to roll out Covid vaccination programme when time is right

The Government’s reassurance follows confirmation that Australia will be contributing $10 million tala (AUD$4million) to ensure that Samoa is protected from the virus through the Covid Access Initiative for the Pacific.