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Thousands take part in Samoa mass COVID-19 vaccination drive

nurses administering covid-19 vaccine
Source: RNZ Pacific

Apia, SAMOA — Today is the second and final day of lockdown in Samoa with health authorities going door to door to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

Around 7,000 doses of AstraZeneca were administered on Thursday as part of the two-day roll out.

Despite the strict lockdown, from 8am to 6pm, it is not compulsory to get vaccinated. Those willing to have the jab have been instructed to place red flags at the entrance to their dwellings.

Our correspondent in Apia, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia said he saw a lot of people getting into the spirit of things.

"I have seen so many red flags in front of people's houses, that means there's quite a number of people need to be vaccinated. And I think their (government's) door to door program was working. But it is not a compulsory mass vaccination so that means people have the choice whether to take the vaccine or not," Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia.

According to the World Health Organisation up until the 9th of September, Samoa had administered over 142, 000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine with over 25 percent of the country's eligible population fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Local authorities aim for the two day mass vaccination drive is to try and administer 20,000 doses.

This would bring Samoa close to 100 percent of the eligible population having received one dose.

The mass vaccination drive effort also comes as some of Samoa's AstraZeneca stocks are due to expire at the end of October.

As of 2019 Samoa's total population was just under 200,000.