Covid-19 vaccines

Vanuatu receives more Covid vaccines from China

This was the third batch of Covid-19 vaccines sent by China, bringing the total number of vaccines donated to Vanuatu to 200,000. This makes China the largest single donor of Covid-19 vaccines to Vanuatu.

Sinopharm was the second vaccine introduced in Vanuatu, after AstraZeneca. The first batch of 20,000 doses and second batch of 80,000 doses were received in June and October last year with medical supplies.

China did not only donated vaccines and supplies, it also provided an amount of VT27 million (US$236,766) to support government’s efforts in combating Covid-19.

Fiji receives last batch of COVID-19 vaccines from Australia

Australia’s High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes said they have been able to surpass their initial commitment for the AstraZeneca jabs.

“And we’re here today to announce that we’ve delivered almost 1.1 million vaccines in the six months. But it doesn’t end here as our support for Fiji will continue”

Fiji’s Minister of Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said the donation enabled Fiji to vaccinate more than 50 percent of the target population against COVID-19.

NRL refuses to mandate Covid-19 vaccine

On the same day the AFL mandated its players to be vaccinated by mid-February, Abdo took a slightly different approach.

The NRL has been grappling with mandatory vaccinations since the resumption of the 2020 season when several high-profile players including Bryce Cartwright, Josh Papalii and Joseph Tapine expressed reluctance to receive the flu shot.

Despite many businesses and rival codes mandating employees to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, Abdo said the NRL would leave it up to the players.

New Caledonia chief demands halt to vaccines

Henri Dokucas Naisseline said the vaccination obligation deprives people of fundamental rights of freedom and respect for human dignity.

The high chief of the Gaumha district on the island of Mare has decided to stop the vaccination drive in all the tribes under his control, suggesting the vaccine is dangerous.

However, he said those who wish to get the vaccine can still get it.

In August, the government launched an inoculation campaign in the mainly Kanak Loyalty Islands, called Vacci'tribs, in the hope of vaccinating 80 percent of the population by January.

Most popular Facebook link in US spread vaccine doubt

The piece - updated after a report said there was no proven link to the vaccine - was popular with vaccine sceptics.

The New York Times claimed that Facebook initially held back its report because it would "look bad".

Facebook said the delay was in order to make "key fixes".

The company had already published its "Widely Viewed Content" report for the second quarter of 2021, in which it found a word search promising to reveal "your reality" was the most popular post.

Similarly frivolous "question posts" formed most of the top 20.

Pfizer becomes first Covid vaccine to gain full FDA approval

The vaccine had initially been given emergency use authorisation. Its two jabs, three weeks apart, are now fully approved for those aged 16 and older.

The approval is expected to set off more vaccine mandates by employers and organisations across the country.

It comes amid lingering vaccine hesitancy among many Americans.

In a statement, the FDA said its review for approval included data from approximately 44,000 people. The vaccine, which will now be marketed as Comirnaty, was found to be 91% effective in preventing Covid disease.

Russia offers North Korea Covid vaccines again as crisis worsens

Pyongyang has refused vaccines and aid from a number of countries.

It has instead sealed borders to try and keep the virus out but that has affected trade with China. It relies on Beijing for food, fertiliser and fuel.

Kim Jong-un has acknowledged that the country is facing food shortages, describing the situation as "tense".

He made the comments last month and also told citizens to prepare for the "worst ever outcome" which has invoked comparisons to a deadly famine in the 1990s.

Medical expert's warning about low uptake of vaccine

The Samoa Observer reports Toleafoa Viali Lameko saying the comparatively low uptake of the first vaccine is a concern.

Toleafoa said proof of how vital vaccinations is supported by the situation in Fiji where there were more than 300 cases yesterday and one death.

Data shows less than 40 percent of people in Samoa have received a vaccine.

That is much lower for Tonga and the Cook Islands and also below the rate for Fiji.


Covid vaccine: Why are Australians cancelling AstraZeneca jabs?

It comes after the government updated guidance last week to recommend only those aged over 60 get the shot, due to the risk of a rare blood-clotting syndrome.

Under-60s have been advised to get the alternative Pfizer shot, of which there are limited supplies.

Turning down any vaccine - and AstraZeneca is the world's most widely used one - may seem remarkable to other nations still battling rampant Covid.

5,140 people receive first COVID-19 vaccine in Vanuatu

The vaccine was rolled out early this month. 

The Ministry of Health confirmed that among the vaccinated, 515 are health workers, 880 other frontline workers, 888 elderly persons and 629 are those with underlying conditions.

The vaccines have been prioritised to health workers, frontline workers (border workers, quarantine facility staff, public transport drivers), the elderly (age 55 and above) and people over 35 with existing medical conditions.