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As territory’s vaccinations continue to climb, Mauga asks private sector to help

Mauga Tasi Asuega
Source: ASG govt media release

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — As more and more residents get vaccinated for the COVID-19, Secretary of Samoan Affairs Mauga Tasi Asuega has called on the private sector to help out with the vaccination efforts.

At its meeting this past Monday, the Task Force discussed innovating ways to reach those who have not gotten their first shot. Such options include outreach in schools with permission from parents, organizing vaccinations at churches and villages. At present, groups can also arrange with DOH for transportation of their families or groups to vaccination sites.

Data from the Department of Health shows that close to 1,500 people were vaccinated just last week, pushing the total number of people who have received their first shot to 20,779 or 62.6%.

Of that number, 17,521 or 52.8% are fully vaccinated or have completed both shots. Four of the six age groups (those 31 years old and older) have well surpassed the 50% vaccination rate for being fully vaccinated.  For the 16-20 years old and 21-30 year olds age groups, only 43.3% and 41.4% have received their first shots, respectively. Of that, 34.3% of the 16-20 year olds and 31.7% of the 21-30 year olds have received their second shots and are now fully vaccinated, 37.4% of the eligible population has still not gotten their first shot.

One of the first church groups to get vaccinated happened this past week.

DOH vaccinated members of the Seventh Day Adventist church this past Sunday. DOH teams have also gone out to homes to vaccinate home-bound patients and have also hosted vaccination sites at StarKist, the biggest private sector employer.

During the meeting, Mauga asked Ella Gurr, who chairs the Chamber of Commerce, to please help out with vaccination efforts by getting the word out to the private sector. Ms. Gurr has been working with DOH on vaccination outreach for private businesses. Mauga echoed comments from Lt Governor Talauega  Eleasalo Ale, that the more people that DOH is able to get vaccinated, the more protected American Samoa will be from the deadly virus and the better prepared the territory will be when borders are opened. 

The coronavirus death toll has now surpassed 3 million worldwide. Talauega expressed appreciation to the DOH for their vaccination efforts and to the LBJ Hospital and the VA Clinic for their assistance.