Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Samoa vaccinates thousands during two-day lockdown

From RNZ

Today is the second and final day of lockdown in Samoa, with health authorities going door to door to administer Covid-19 vaccines.

Around 7000 doses of the AstraZeneca jab were administered on Thursday as part of the two-day rollout.

Despite the strict lockdown, from 8am to 6pm, it is not compulsory to get vaccinated. Those willing to have the jab have been instructed to place red flags at the entrance to their dwellings.

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, RNZ’s correspondent in Apia, said he saw a lot of people getting into the spirit of things.

“I have seen so many red flags in front of people’s houses, that means there’s quite a number of people need to be vaccinated. And I think [the government’s] door-to-door programme was working. But it is not a compulsory mass vaccination so that means people have the choice whether to take the vaccine or not,” Autagavaia said.

According to the World Health Organisation, Samoa had administered over 142,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine by September 9, with more than 25 per cent of the country’s eligible population fully vaccinated.

Local authorities’ aim for the two-day mass vaccination drive is to try and administer 20,000 doses.

This would bring Samoa close to 100 per cent of the eligible population having received one dose.

The mass vaccination drive effort also comes as some of Samoa’s AstraZeneca stocks are due to expire at the end of October.

As of 2019, Samoa’s total population was just under 200,000.

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