A ship will be sent to the remote island of Palmerston carrying the latest batch of Covid-19 vaccines.
The shipment, which goes out on Monday next week on the police patrol boat Te Kukupa II, will take five vials of adult vaccine (12+ age group vaccine), equivalent to 30 to 35 doses, in a special credo box with dry ice due to travel time to Palmerston. Te Marae Ora staff will also be onboard.
Palmerston island is one of the most
remote in the Cook Islands, with a population of about 30 people.
It has a school with eight pupils.
Cook Islands director
of hospital health services Dr Yin Yin May said it would take about 18 hours
for the shipment to reach its destination.
May said the
targeted audience is everyone over the age of five.
is one of just two islands in the Pa Enua that have not had a Covid-19
outbreak. The other is Pukapuka.
There have been
6265 cases of Covid-19 in the Cook Islands since the pandemic began, with
Rarotonga having the bulk of those with 5119.
Lucky School principal Sherrin Hibbard said everyone on the island had already
had two jabs.
“We can’t have
people here from outside the islands at the moment. We understand that there
are quite a few people of ours who are still in Rarotonga and got stuck there,”
understanding, the boat will arrive and depart on the same day.”
people on the island felt “very lucky” that there hadn’t been any Covid-19
well aware about the damage it’s caused to the outside world. We’ve encouraged
our students to display good hygiene practices during the last vaccination
rollout,” she said.
people will be social distancing and mask-wearing while they are getting
“It’s something we
haven’t had to do until recently, for us on the island, it has kind of been
business as usual,” she said.
“What happens next for the island is up to the island council.”