11 May 2021

Nauru vaccinates entire adult population

10:43 pm on 11 May 2021

Nauru's Covid-19 vaccination campaign has exceeded the government's expectations.

A government release says 7,392 people, or 108 percent of the adult population have received the first dose.

This exceeds population estimates of 6,812 adults living in Nauru based on figures in a 2019 census, as stated by the Bureau of Statistics.

This photograph taken on September 2, 2018 shows a beach view in Ewa on the Pacific island of Nauru.

Photo: AFP

However, the government is confident it has vaccinated all of its adult population aged 18 years and over for this first part of a two-shot vaccination.

With a comparatively young population, this represents 63 per cent of the estimated total population on Nauru having received the vaccine.

The four-week rollout of the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine to adults in Nauru ended last Friday.

'Blessed' with vaccine supply

Nauru is one of the few countries in the world remaining free of Covid-19.

But the National Coronavirus Taskforce said that with every arriving traveller, the risk of the coronavirus entering Nauru remained, while "recent events in PNG, Fiji and India have shown how quickly the situation can change".

Taskforce Chairman, Dr Kieren Keke, has warned that Nauru cannot be complacent and that the country needs to further protect its people by getting vaccinated.

Regarding the vaccination programme, the Health Minister, Isabella Dageago, stated in Parliament, "our prayers have been answered".

Dageago said that "Nauru has been blessed with a supply of vaccine, enough to enable us to immunise 100 percent of our adult population".

She said many countries were struggling to secure supply of the vaccine, so the government was grateful that everyone on Nauru has made the most of the opportunity given to it.

Population cover

The Taskforce is reviewing Nauru's Vaccine Register database to confirm the final figure of those to have taken the shot.

It will look to generate reports to review vaccine coverage by age groups, districts, nationalities, occupation and priority target groups. The work undertaken on the register will also enable government to have an accurate population database.

During the past month of vaccinations, district communities and work places were allocated vaccination times, although walk-ins were welcomed.

Multiple vaccination centres including the Public Health centre were opened up with extended hours to accommodate work schedules for maximum coverage.

A vaccination deadline for the first shot was set at 7 May to allow an eight-week interval before the second dose is administered, which the government projects would be done before the expiry of the available vaccine supply on Nauru in mid-July.

This allows some last minute shots to be taken in the next few days this week, for any who for whatever reason have not yet taken the first dose.

Any people who have missed out and want to get their shot, are urged to go to Public Health now for the first shot.