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Students not “fully” vaccinated by November will be sent home

Dept. of Health logo
DoH will be visiting the schools

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Health Department is urging parents and/or legal guardians of students attending all schools in the territory to ensure their children have received their immunization shots — as required — with plans to starting visiting schools next months to check.

“No one will be allowed in the classroom if their shots are not up-to-date,” declared DoH in its “Back-to-School Immunization” program, through its latest health advisory. The same message has been delivered through DoH various awareness programs including talk-shows on local radio stations.

The advisory also says that all DoH Well Child Clinics continue to open for Back-To-School vaccination updates during regular working hours — Tafuna, Amouli, Leone and Fagaalu — Monday to Friday.

“Please bring your child’s immunization card when visiting the clinic. If your child is not updated with shots, including flu shots, DoH will refer them to the clinics,” the advisory says.

The back-to-school immunization was one of the issues covered during DoH’s news conference last Thursday morning and was addressed by Yolanda Masunu of the DoH immunization program.

Masunu says they continue to work with schools in getting the required immunization shots for students, and while it has been a difficult task, DoH is getting a lot of support from school officials, including principals.

She announced that DoH had given parents the month of September and now the rest of the month of October to complete all required shots for students. Next month — November — the DoH team will visit individual schools to check on immunization records of students. And if not completed, the student will not be allowed to continue at the school until all shots are done.

Masunu called on parents and legal guardians to adhere to the important message and request from DoH for students to get fully immunized and that DoH is giving this chance now for their children to attend school — even though some of them may not have completed all their immunization shots.

She reminded parents that the American Samoa and the world is currently faced with the pandemic and it’s important for students to get their all of their required immunization shots at this time. Additionally, DoH now has flu shots available and flu shots can be given to children who are at the age of six-months and up.

For questions and information, call DoH hotline at 219 or the immunization program office at 699-8464.

Meanwhile, DoH along with the COVID-19 Task Force as well as the local medical community continue their “Protect AS One” COVID-19 vaccination campaign with goal of getting 80% or higher of the eligible population vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccination sites for today, Wednesday, Oct. 6th are: DYWA buildings in Tafuna and Pago Pago from 8a.m to 3p.m.