President Aingimeaeyes eyes full vaccination by June
Yaren-- More than a hundred percent of Nauru's adult population have received their first shots of Covid-19 vaccine, exceeding the government's projection.
During the vaccine rollout on April 12, President Lionel Aingimea said he anticipates Nauru to be the first country to be fully vaccinated by the end of June.
According to a May 12 press release from Nauru's government information office, a total of 7,392 adults have received their first shots of May 7, the last day of the first-shot campaign.
"Based on Nauru's Bureau of Statistics population estimates of 6,812 adults living in Nauru at the end of 2020, Nauru has vaccinated 108 per cent of the adult population aged 18 years and over," the press release states.
With a comparatively young population, this represents 63 per cent of the estimated total population on Nauru having received the Covid-19 vaccine, officials said.
Nauru, whose population was estimated at 10,824 in 2020, is among the few countries in the world that remain Covid-19 free.
"The National Coronavirus Taskforce is extremely pleased with this world record result and thanks everyone on Nauru for playing their part to keep Nauru Covid-free and safe," Nauru officials said.
Health authorities, however, warned that every arriving traveler comes with the risk of the coronavirus entering Nauru. "Recent events in PNG, Fiji and India have shown how quickly the situation can change," they said.
Dr. Kieren Keke, taskforce chairman, has repeatedly warned Nauru citizens against complacency and encouraged eligible individuals to get vaccinated.
Health Minister Isabella Dageago said Nauru "has been blessed with a supply of vaccine, enough to enable us to immunize 100 percent of our adult population,." while many countries are struggling to secure vaccine supply.
The task force said it is reviewing the vaccine register database to confirm the final figure and to be able to generate reports to review vaccine coverage by age groups, districts, nationalities, occupation and priority target groups.
The roll-out of the first dose was scheduled across four weeks, concluding on May 7.
District communities and workplaces were allocated vaccination times although walk-ins were welcomed.
The government has opened several vaccination centers with extended hours to accommodate work schedules for maximum coverage.