The long-awaited commencement to Vanuatu’s Covid-19 vaccination program received a boost with the first 24,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine arriving in Port Vila on 20th May 2021. The doses were sent from Italy through COVAX facilities and arrived in Port-Vila via Brisbane.
Bob Loughman, The Prime Minister of Vanuatu, stated that although Vanuatu is still free of Covid-19, more efforts will be needed it to restart tourism activities in the country… Loughman said while Covid-19 free Vanuatu is in a fortunate position, the vaccine is an essential step to ensure the country is protected from the pandemic and to enable it to consider opening air corridors with other similar vaccinated nations. COVAX, the global alliance in collaboration with the World Health Organization, said they will be continuously working with the Vanuatu’s Government to give the country all the support It needs to keep its communities protected from the virus.
The Ministry of Health in Vanuatu confirmed that already 4000 people in the Port Vila area have signed up for the vaccination program, and this represents the start of hopefully a fast ramp up of the urgently needed vaccinations to get the country back on its feet and to consider the future reopening of Vanuatu to international travel. The ministry said preparations for the first phase of vaccine rollout have been made, and they are expecting to do the national launch on 2nd June 2021.
The Government of Vanuatu announced the first phase of vaccinations will be provided to health workers, and frontline staff such as border control staff and drivers of public transport. They have also mentioned their priority group to get the vaccination are people with serious health conditions and people of 55 years old and above. The first registration for the AstraZeneca vaccination has already been made in Port Vila, and the government confirmed over 4,000 people have been registered already for the first phase of vaccines rollout in Port Vila and Efate. The first registration having already been completed; the government confirmed they will restart after the first vaccines rollout on 2nd of June.