The Ministry of Health would like to announce that the milestone of 24,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses administered to the population on Vanuatu has been successfully reached on 22 July 2021
The 24,000 doses were the first batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that were ordered by the Vanuatu Government through the COVAX facility, arriving in April and launched on 2 June.
In total the Vanuatu’s Government through the Ministry of Health has ordered over 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that will be arriving in batches due to high global demand for vaccines.
The Ministry of Health has been committed to ensure all AstraZeneca vaccine doses are being used before the expiry which is on 31 August this year.
Since beginning of the vaccine rollout on 2 June, the AstraZeneca vaccines have been administered to priority groups in Port Vila and rural communities on Efate and offshores islands. Vaccines targeted the initial priority groups, including healthcare workers, other frontline workers, the elderly, those with co-morbidities and eventually opening up to all 18 years and above.
To date 8 per cent of Vanuatu’s total population has been vaccinated with the 24,000 doses as part of the vaccination campaign currently ongoing on Shefa Province and soon to be rolled out on Sanma in August as per government plans.
There are ongoing bilateral discussions with countries to support donating vaccines outside of the COVAX Facillity, such as, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and Serbia, as confirmed by the Director Public Health, Len Tarivonda.
To ensure safe and equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccines and the success of the vaccination campaign, the support from different partners is crucial in making sure vaccine coverage are widely covered in Vanuatu.
Currently in Vanuatu, two COVID-19 vaccines are being administered, namely the AstraZeneca and the Sinopharm vaccine. People have the opportunity to choose which vaccine they would like to receive.
This week, the Ministry of Health kicked off its mobile vaccination campaign targeting different villages on Efate. These include Mele, Melemaat, Erakor, Pango, Eratap, Erakor and Eton. Data collected by the Ministry demonstrates low COVID-19 vaccine coverage in these areas. People are encouraged get a COVID-19 vaccine while the vaccination team is in their communities.
The Ministry of Health aims to vaccine as many of the eligible population as possible to ensure individuals, families, and communities are protected from COVID-19.
Health Promotion Unit/ Department of Public Health
Tel: +678 5636472