Cook Islands residents can expect to receive their first dosage of the Covid-19 vaccine next week under a government plan unveiled yesterday.
workers in Rarotonga will be the first in the country to receive the first
dosage of the Pfizer vaccine, followed by the general public.
will be next in line, followed by residents in the remaining outer islands.
entire rollout is expected to be finished by the end of July.
Marae Ora (Ministry of Health) is finalising roll-out plans that will see our
vaccinations get underway from the 18th May, starting with frontline health
staff and border workers, then, hotel staff, before we begin with the general
public shortly after,” said Prime Minister Mark Brown while announcing the
will be leading the way by asking our MPs and House of Ariki to be vaccinated
as an example to our people.”
Prime Minister said vaccines are expected to arrive next week aboard an Air New
Zealand flight, likely Monday’s arrival based on the Government’s timetable for
administering the vaccine.
will take place by appointment-only at the Rarotonga Hospital, on Sanatorium
Rd, Pokoinu, and the entire process should last two hours according to Te Marae
not mandatory, all residents over the age of 16 years are eligible to receive
the Pfizer vaccine, which government says is roughly 95 per cent effective in
preventing symptomatic infection of Covid-19.
an estimated 10,000 eligible residents in Rarotonga, planning is underway to
make the process efficient and orderly, PM Brown said.
said health officials are working with the puna clinics to arrange
transportation from villages to the hospital for those wishing to be
is expected that the entire process will take 10 days.
the first round of vaccinations in Aitutaki is expected to take three days, and
all other islands should be able to be completed in one to two days.
doses of the vaccine will be administered three weeks later for all residents,
Marae Ora spokesperson Jaewynn McKay said proof-of-vaccination certificates
will be provided for residents after they’ve received both dosages of the
this week, several officials from NZ’s Immunisation Advisory Centre arrived in
Rarotonga to assist with the vaccine rollout programme.
are three of them who have arrived for the training of vaccinators and to
certify the vaccine fridges,” said McKay.
additional five vaccinators will be arriving next week to assist with the
rollout, she added.
has been working closely over the past several months with New Zealand’s
Ministry of Health officials to develop the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Brown said support from New Zealand includes vaccine transportation, technical
advice, logistics planning and support, workforce training, and the supply of
materials such as syringes.
New Zealand government said it is committed to providing vaccinations for at
least 1.2 million people in the Pacific over the coming year.