FSM to get first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines

FSM President David Panuelo recently met with government officials to discuss the shipment of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to the FSM. (Photo from the FSM National Government)

The Federated States of Micronesia  is expected to receive its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of December 2020, according to the FSM National Government. 

The FSM expects to receive 9,800 doses of the Moderna vaccine. For the first distribution phase, 1,600 doses are expected to arrive by Christmas 2020. This is equivalent to 800 individuals getting vaccinated. 

Additional vaccine shipments will continue on a regular basis. 

Frontline workers will be prioritized for the first phase. These include healthcare workers and border control workers— followed by the elderly, and individuals with underlying medical conditions.

The government estimates that approximately 2,700 individuals in the FSM meet the frontline worker criteria. 

According to the FSM National Government , this is the standard recommendation for prioritization of the U.S. CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO). 

The FSM National Government has chosen to receive the Moderna vaccine from the U.S. Government because the FSM lacks the deep-freezing infrastructure required by the Pfizer vaccine.

“We chose the Moderna vaccine because of the practicality of our infrastructure,” the FSM President said, “That’s the sole reason why we have selected the Moderna vaccine.” Both vaccines are safe and both vaccines are effective,” he added. 

FSM President David W. Panuelo recently met with Carmen G. Cantor, Ambassador of the U.S., and U.S. Government officials to discuss the details of the vaccine shipment, according to the FSM Press Secretary Richard Clark.

In the meeting between President Panuelo and the U.S. Government,  the FSM was assured that it will receive a fair and proportionate share of the Moderna vaccine, adjusted for its population, as any U.S. jurisdiction.

Thus, the FSM will receive the same amount of vaccine per capita as Guam and Hawaii.

The FSM National Government continues to encourage the public to practice best preventive practices such as handwashing, mask-wearing, and physical distancing between individuals.

The FSM remains one of the few COVID-19 free nations in the world.