Kiribati has received 19,890 life-saving doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from the United States to continue with their vaccination program and extend it to children up to the age of five years.
The nation has a population of over 119,000 of which more than 3,000 have tested positive for COVID-19, and 30 people have died.
The daily case average for the nation remains at seven cases per day.
Of the total population only 60,670 people are fully vaccinated, a little over half the population.
This donation is the second tranche of a total of 53,820 Pfizer doses that the United States delivered to Kiribati to help address its ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
As the world’s largest donor to the global COVID-19 response, the US has provided more than US$19 billion in health, humanitarian, and economic assistance and has committed to provide 1.2 billon vaccine doses to the world free of charge, of which 535 million doses have already been provided.
US Embassy in Fiji Chargé d’Affaires Tony Greubel said the US was committed to helping Pacific nations recover and become resilient.
“The second tranche of donations is another example of our enduring commitment to stand by our neighbors in the Pacific Region in the time of crisis. We are proud to deliver 19,890 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to our friends in Kiribati,” he said.
The US, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), provided a total of US$52 million to prevent and respond to the spread of COVID-19 in Pacific Island nations. USAID partnered with humanitarian organisations in the region, including on the ground in Kiribati.
These efforts included distributing hygiene supplies, installing handwashing stations and water tanks at strategic points, and raising awareness about COVID-19 and how to stay healthy.
As part of this effort, USAID donated ventilators to Kiribati and supported frontline health workers with technical training to safely use and maintain the ventilators.
Mr Greubel recently announced a Declaration of Humanitarian Need and the U.S. provided US$500,000 in humanitarian assistance to respond to the drought across Kiribati due to below normal rainfall exacerbated by the ongoing impacts of climate change.
US$100,000 was disbursed to USAID partner United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund to immediately strengthen the capacity of the government to monitor groundwater including the salinity levels, and provide critical water conservation and treatment messaging to affected populations.