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Samoa urges public to get booster as COVID surges in NZ

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Source: New Zealand Herald

Apia, SAMOA — Samoa’s government has issued a public health notice urging people to get a booster vaccination against COVID-19, as New Zealand experiences its fifth wave of the virus.

In a notice signed by the country’s director of general health, Dr Aiono Alec Ekeroma, Samoa’s Ministry of Health called on the community to protect themselves from the virus in light of increased COVID cases being reported in New Zealand and the US.

“New Zealand has just experienced a fifth wave of COVID-19 infections and the United States has high infection rates in areas.

“Both countries have daily flights into our country. There is waning immunity for those who were vaccinated in 2021 and 2022.”

The public notice comes as NZ health officials say cases of the virus are expected to peak just before Christmas, as a new wave shows a surge in infections around the country.

Canterbury University’s Professor Michael Plank said this week there had been a “notable increase” in COVID cases over the past two weeks, as new variants emerged and the population’s immunity waned.

The latest statistics, as of November 13, show there were 284 people with COVID in hospital at midnight on Sunday.

There were 5947 new cases reported in the last week and the new case seven-day rolling average is 849. A total of 34 people were re-infected within 90 days (in the last week).

In Samoa, locals were advised to get a booster shot if they had had a COVID vaccination more than 12 months ago or even a first vaccination for anyone who had never had one before.

“[It] is strongly advisable for those who are front-line health and first responder workers, more than 60 years of age, have other health conditions such as diabetes, high-blood pressure, heart disease or lung disease or pregnant mothers.”

Members of the public are also advised to carry out preventative measures to help stop the spread of COVID within the community.