Samoa to go on two-day lockdown for mass vaccination


Samoa’s National Emergency Operations Centre(NEOC) and the Ministry of Health has announced details for the mass vaccination roll-out on the two-day lockdown on Thursday and Friday this week.

“Cabinet and its meeting 10 September approved the two days lockdown on 23 – 24 September to allow for the mass vaccination campaign across the whole country,” said the NEOC Chair, Agafili Shem Leo.

All government ministries and private businesses will be closed on these two days except the essential services such as electricity, water services, international airport and Matautu wharf the Ministry of Police, Fire services and the hospital workers.

According to the Director General of Health, Leausa Dr Take Naseri, mass vaccination began in April and this two-day initiative is a way to vaccinate the unvaccinated population who are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination.

“For those that have missed the specified date for their second dose, they can get their first doses again during this door-to-door vaccination on Friday and Thursday this week.”

Currently, 99,606 or 81.7 percent of the eligible population vaccinated for the first dose while 51,142 which is 42 percent of the eligible population have completed both jabs.

A total of 150 teams have been allocated and will be divided between Upolu and Savaii during the two-day vaccination.

Public transport will be banned during the lockdown.

The aim is to ensure that everyone is at their homes by the time the teams arrive to administer the doses.

“We are seeking the support of the whole country in villages and districts, church leaders and everyone who is eligible for these two shots to please assist the committee in ensuring that about 30,000 doses will be administered within these two days,” Agafili said.

Currently, flights between American Samoa and Samoa have been suspended since the first case is confirmed in the territory last week.

The lockdown also targets maximum coverage so that all of the eligible population will have their second dosages before the vaccines expiry at the end of November.