28 Apr 2012

United Airlines reinstates free delivery of vaccines to Micronesia

6:20 am on 28 April 2012

United Airlines has decided to reinstate the free shipment of flu vaccines to countries in Micronesia.

Last week, the airline discontinued the service, a decision appealed by Pacific Island Health Officers Association members, PIHOA, which includes the CNMI healthcare corporation.

The U.S. Pacific Islands Vaccine Program began in 2007 when the U.S. Department of Defense realized it was destroying excess vaccine while the Pacific islands had a shortage.

Every year Hawaiian Airlines and Continental Micronesia-now United Airlines-partnered with the Health Department to fly the donated flu vaccine at no cost.

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation's chief executive officer, Juan Babauta, says an official of the Pacific Island Health Officers Association relayed to him the good news.