ASEAN – In a statement released by the Red Cross, they stated that the small Pacific island of Palau had the world’s highest number of individuals who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, and urged the country’s lagging neighbors to follow its lead and boost up vaccination initiatives.
Fully 99 per cent of Palau’s population over the age of 12 has received two doses of the new coronavirus vaccine, according to the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), citing official statistics that also indicate that this equates to 16,152 individuals.
The International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) said in a statement that this places Palau, an archipelago of 500 islands in the western Pacific Ocean, in the “top spot,” ahead of countries such as Portugal, which was named one of the world’s most vaccinated countries when 80 percent of its 10 million people were fully inoculated last month.
It also stands in striking contrast to other tiny countries in the area, which have had slow vaccination rollouts owing to supply limitations and population reluctance in recent months. As stated by the IFRC, less than 10% of the population of the Solomon Islands (population 650,000) and Kiribati (population 119,000) is vaccinated.
According to the report, fewer than one percent of the population in Papua New Guinea, which is 150 kilometers (93 miles) north of Australia, is completely vaccinated, citing the data from Our World in Data.
The impending Pacific cyclone season, which is expected to inflict further harm to lives already affected by the outbreak, has heightened the urgency of boosting vaccination rates in the area, said the IFRC. Palau was not alone among the Pacific countries in having the highest immunization rates in the world when measured on a per capita basis. The IFRC said that the Cook Islands (population 17,000) had 96 percent of its eligible population completely vaccinated, whereas Fiji (population 896,000) had 96 percent of its eligible population with a single dosage.