You are urged get your shot: Protect yourself, your family, your village
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The American Samoa COVID-19 Task Force revealed during a press conference with members of the media on Tuesday this week that according to the Vaccination Operation update, only 59.3% of the total population has completed one shot of the coronavirus since the campaign kicked-off in December of last year.
Between Dec. 20, 2021 and June 20, 201, only 46,495 have completed their shots for the coronavirus. This amount includes 11,343 who have completed their Moderna shot; 34,892 have completed the Pfizer shot, and 260 has completed the Janssen (J3) shot. A total of 21,893 have completed both shots.
Age groups who had completed their shots are:
¥ 55 people 12-15 years old;
¥ 2,190 people 16-20 years old;
¥ 3,309 people 21-30 years old;
¥ 3,549 people 31-40 years old;
¥ 4,650 people 41-50 years years old;
¥ 4,444 51-60 years old; and
¥ 3,696 people 61 years old and older.
Data released by the Task Force during the press conference also revealed out of 21,893 people who are fully vaccinated, 5,168 have completed the Moderna vaccine, 16,466 people have received the Pfizer vaccine and 259 got the Jassen vaccine.
For those who are waiting for their 2nd shots, 402 people are awaiting for their Moderna shot while 1,081 are awaiting for their Pfizer shot. A total of 1,480 people are past due for their 2nd shot.
Dr. Aifili Tufa of the Department of Health, also a member of the Task Force said that the number of people being vaccinated gives the task force a good idea where they stand when it comes to protecting the territory. However he said, “We’re looking at 70% to be fully vaccinated.”
“I urge our people that if you’re not vaccinated, please visit our vaccination site where our team of health officials are conducting vaccination shots for our people. We need to get our shots done in order for our whole country to be protected from this deadly coronavirus,” Dr. Tufa said during the press conference.
For those who have received their first shot but were unable to return for the second shot, Dr. Tufa is calling out to those people to please take this matter seriously and make the sacrifice to get themselves fully vaccinated because it will protect their families, children and everyone around them.
“You’re not fully vaccinated until you have received your second shot. So I humbly ask our community to please get your shot done and then live a happy life without fear of this deadly coronavirus or any variant of the deadly virus including the Delta variant which is now another threat to the world and us too.”
Members of the COVID-19 Task Force, Dr. Aifili Tufa and Dr. Iotamo Saleapaga during the Task Force press conference this week. Both doctors are calling out to people to please take this matter seriously and make the sacrifice to get themselves fully vaccinated because it will protect their families, children and everyone around them. [photo by AF]
Dr. Iotamo Saleapaga echoed Dr. Tufa’s statement and reminded people that this vaccination is not for one person’s benefit. It’s for everyone’s safety and to make sure our whole island is protected from the virus.
“Don’t tell me that you’re a Christian and you believe God’s protection is over us. We all believe that God is love and He will never forsake us in the sinful world, however, God gave us the knowledge and the wisdom to make wise and good choices in life. One of the good choices God wants to see from us is the choice that we can put our faith in Him and at the same time exercise our faith by doing work to protect ourselves from harm. And that is, come and take your second shot,” Dr. Saleapaga said.
He added that it’s been 8 months now since the vaccination campaign kicked-off and the numbers are still low.
“My advice to our people, don't just sit and wait until something bad happens. Please, we must be prepared at any time and do the right thing. This vaccine is not about you alone, it’s about you, your spouse, your children, your village, your church, your extended family, your country and everyone.”
“So, if you love your country, yourself and your people, go and be vaccinated. The Task Force and our leaders want to make sure our whole island is fully protected from the virus.”
When questioned about the LBJ Hospital’s preparation if anyone has the virus in the future, Dr. Saleapaga said that the hospital is ready at any time.
“We have been ready since two years ago, however, we don’t want to see anybody affected by the virus. We want to see everyone safe and happy.”
The Attorney General, Fainuulelei L.P Falefatu Alailima-Utu added that everyone in the community, including the government, private sector, and village councils — everyone — needs to work together to make sure our people are protected from the virus. And the only way to protect our whole community is to get vaccinated.
He also advised people that requirements set up by the government —especially the Task Force — for those who are in quarantine are not unduly harsh. It’s the way to make sure that everyone is protected before they are released back to their families and loved ones.
He said that all these requirements were based on the advice from medical doctors who are familiar with this situation.
Lastly, Alailima-Utu said that believing and having faith in God for His protection of us from the virus must go together with being vaccinated.
Samoa News should point out that American Samoa is looking at opening its borders in a limited manner in August or September — where flights will be allowed in & out, but not as many as before and restrictions will be in place to protect the general population, who hopefully will be 70% vaccinated from the virus.
VACCINATIONS FOR CHILDREN 12-15 YEARS OLD
The vaccination working group continues with vaccinations for children ages 12-15 years old as approved by the FDA for emergency use authorization, which started also last month.
For this coming Saturday, June 26, 2021, vaccinations will be administered at the CCCAS Hall in Matuu and Faganeanea for the east side, and the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) compound for the west side.
Dr. Amoa reminded all parents to please be prepared with your child’s hospital number card and the child’s identification. For those who need their second shot, don’t forget to bring your first vaccination card to confirm that you already had your first vaccination.