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First shots go into American Samoa arms as second vaccine approved

Congresswoman Amata receiving the vaccine

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — As the FDA last Friday issued an emergency use of the second-vaccine, developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, the territory’s first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine arrived safely last Saturday on the weekly cargo flight.

Moderna has about 5.9 million doses ready for shipment set to begin over the weekend, according to Operation Warp Speed, the government’s vaccine development program in a national announcement last Friday.

According to Dr Tufa the vaccination of health workers and first responders is expected to start this morning (Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020).

He said patients traveling on the medical charter next month would also be vaccinated in this first group.

Director of the Medicaid Office, Sandra King Young, said in a press release issued over the weekend that patients and escorts for the medical charter will be vaccinated with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the DOH Community Health Center in Tafuna or LBJ Hospital at 9am Sunday, December 20.

The FDA website ( provides more specific details on the vaccines and other information. Also contact the local Health Department hotline - call 219 - if the public has questions.

Read details of this and the winddown of the Lolo administration in Monday’s issue.