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Monthly COVID vaccinations take a big drop — a worrying drop

Dr. Aifili John Tufa

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — During the COVID-19 Task Force meeting on Monday, Health Department’s Epidemiologist Dr. Aifili John Tufa  explained that the number of vaccinations for November sharply declined compared to previous months.

This is according to a task force news release, following Monday’s meeting, where Dr. Tufa provided global COVID-19 updates emphasizing that the pandemic is still happening.

Globally, he said, there have been 448,000 new cases and 6,734 new deaths. In the WHO Western Pacific Region there are 24,580 newly reported cases and 557 newly reported deaths. Within the Pacific Island Countries and Areas, there have been 128 new cases and 3 new deaths since last week.

The task force meeting was also informed that total vaccinations in American Samoa for the month of November “have seen a sharp decline” from previous months with 1,530 as of November 22nd –– the lowest number of shots administered in the past 6 months.

In terms of individuals, there are a total of 33,158 that are fully vaccinated. In terms of vaccination coverage (entire population) — 70% have at least one dose; 66.7% fully are vaccinated; 21.3% with no shots yet.

DoH reminds parents and legal guardians that Tafuna Health Center is open for vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11 years old, as the task force pushes for this age group to be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the task force says that a total of 325 travelers have registered on Talofa Pass for the Dec. 6th Hawaiian Airlines flight from Honolulu and a more firm count will be available as travelers undergo the 3 test protocol and approach the departure date.