By: Olkeriil Ngirudelsang
On Saturday May 29, a total of 542 people received their covid-19 vaccination. This was the highest turnout of people showing up to get vaccinated and was beyond what was expected that day according to EOC Incident Commander(IC) Ritter Udui. Only 200 were anticipated that day for vaccination.
Currently, 96% of Palau’s adult population is fully vaccinated or 71% of the entire population according to MOH’s situation report that came out yesterday May 31st. This accounts for 13,107 persons fully vaccinated. The report also noted that there are 2 persons in quarantine, “6 in self-monitoring, 89 in restricted movement and 1 in BNH (Belau National Hospital) isolation”.
The number of people who have not returned for their second dose of vaccine is “less than 100 even maybe less than 70,” reported IC Udui at yesterday Special Press Conference. Reasons some people have not taken their second dose include people going off-island due to emergencies and some that have passed away. Good news noted by EOC IC Udui is that those who left to the United States were able to acquire their second dose as long as they had their vaccination cards.” She further shared that some have intentionally said no, declining to get the 2nd dose of vaccine even though IC Udui had personally contact them to get their second dose.
When asked exactly how many individuals did not return for their 2nd dose of Moderna Vaccine when it was due, Public Information Officer (PIO) Edolm Ikerdeu stated “it is so low we haven’t bothered to check but we will go through the forms and share to you on Wednesday.
Gearing towards Palau’s goal of reaching herd immunity where 80% of the entire population is vaccinated, an announcement was put out by MOH yesterday that they “would like to inform anyone who has not received the covid-19 vaccine that vaccination will be open to the general public on a walk in, first come first serve basis on Thursday, June 3, 2021 at the Ngardmau State Government Building from 10am to 12pm. It further said that “the vaccine to be administered will be the Johnson and Johnson” vaccine. Johnson and Johnson vaccine a single dose vaccine and does not require a second dose.