Covid-19 vaccinations

Tonga launches Covid-19 vaccination programme

Princess Pilolevu was followed by her husband Lord Tuita and Prime Minister, Dr. Pohiva Tuionetoa.

Frontline workers also received their Covid-19 shot at Falemasiva Hall in Havelu.

Dr. Reynold Ofanoa the Acting CEO for Health said today is a historical day for Tonga, it’s the day we had prayed for, the day of hope because of the  official launching the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine and we are truly humbled to have HRH to be the first one to be vaccinated which is a great support.

Covid-19 vaccination ramped up in Wallis and Futuna

In the past three weeks, 385 people tested positive for the virus and four of them died.

All but ten of the cases were registered on the island of Wallis where nine people are in hospital.

A total of seven patients have been flown to hospital in New Caledonia, including the very first Wallis resident to test positive for the virus.

The detection of Covid-19 in Wallis was followed by the first Covid-19 community cases in New Caledonia a day later, prompting the authorities in Noumea to order an immediate three-week lockdown, which has now been extended to Easter.

Vaccination programme rolls out in the French territories

The Pfizer vaccine programme began on 20 January and requires two doses with a 21 day interval between jabs.

The programme is funded by Paris and is free but not compulsory.

And French Polynesian health authorities have given the first of a two dose Covid-19 vaccine to 1526 of its most at-risk people.

The vaccination campaign began on 18 January with Phase One focusing on health workers and those over 75 on Tahiti and Mo'orea.

Hospital staff on Ra'iatea and Nuku Hiva are also being inoculated.

They will receive their second jab in February.

Covid-19 vaccination will be required to fly, says Qantas chief

The Australian flag carrier's boss, Alan Joyce, said the move would be "a necessity" when vaccines are available.

"I think that's going to be a common thing talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe," he said.

Australia shut down its international borders early in the pandemic and required those returning to quarantine.

The country has more recently relied on lockdowns, widespread testing and aggressive contact tracing to push daily infections nationwide close to zero.