YAREN (Nauru Government/Pacnews) — The heads of the three branches of government say getting vaccinated is important to further protect family and Nauru.
President Lionel Aingimea, Speaker of Parliament Marcus Stephen and Chief Justice Taniela Fatiaki, and their spouses are among the first to receive their first dose of the COVAX AstraZeneca vaccine on launch day, 09 April.
With Nauru maintaining regular cargo and passenger flights to Brisbane, Australia, the likelihood of Covid-19 entering Nauru remains a possibility, therefore the government urges all eligible Nauruans and foreigners, 18 years and over, to get vaccinated.
At the end of day four of vaccinations, over 700 doses have been administered to front line workers and walk-ins.
Once the 7,000-plus eligible adults receive both doses of the vaccine, Nauru may be the first country to have achieved 100% vaccine coverage of its adult population by July.
With a fully immunized population, the government hopes to be able to set up travel bubbles with Nauru Airlines’ usual destinations especially with Australia being an important destination for Nauru for medical referrals and education purposes.
President Aingimea says Australia is looking at easing border restrictions around October; however, Nauru is hoping for a date closer to when Nauru is expected to have fully vaccinated its population around mid-July.
With the global demand for vaccines, the government allocated funds to secure procurement of vaccines very early on. The two shipments arrived earlier than expected on April 1 and 8, prompting swift replanning to roll-out vaccination.
The roll-out of the first dose is scheduled over four weeks and expected to be completed by the end of April. The second dose will be rolled out from mid-June to mid-July.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Health continues its random antigen rapid testing in the workplace and community.