We’re delighted to share that in July 2021 rotavirus, pneumococcal conjugate and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations began in Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu.

Unfortunately, at the time Samoa was facing a rotavirus outbreak so it was particularly crucial to reach children there with vaccines as quickly as possible.

Although the roll-out was later than initially planned, due to COVID-19, reaching this milestone is a cause for celebration. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported the Rotary Give Every Child a Future project to enable us to make real progress in protecting children in Pacific Island countries from killer diseases. Vaccinations are scheduled to begin in the Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue and Vanuatu in September.

Over the past year UNICEF and Ministry of Health teams in the Pacific have been busy forecasting vaccine requirements, setting up the cold chain (including delivering fridges, voltage stabilisers, cold boxes and vaccine carriers), developing training materials, training healthcare workers and producing communication materials for the public. As well as rolling out vaccines in the remaining countries in September, UNICEF and government partners will continue to address vaccine hesitancy to ensure as many children as possible benefit from the Rotary Give Every Child a Future project.