FSM reports increase in vaccination rate

FSM seal (PNC file photo)

The Federated States of Micronesia has reported an increase in its vaccination rate. 

As of March 4, Thursday, 10 percent of the FSM’s adult population has received their second dose of the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine. 

Last month, the FSM government lowered its overall COVID-19 vaccination goal — from 100 percent to 70 percent to fast-track the repatriation of its stranded citizens.

FSM President David Panuelo, in earlier statements, said that the FSM is targeting a hundred percent vaccination rate before it can bring back its stranded citizens

At this current rate, according to a release from the FSM National Government, the nation has already reached 14 percent of its goal. 

Here’s the vaccination rate breakdown from the FSM National Government:

  • Yap has vaccinated 38% of its adult population with the first dose of the vaccine, and 25% with the second dose.
  • Chuuk has vaccinated 13% of its adult population with the first dose of the vaccine, and 6% with the second dose.
  • Pohnpei has vaccinated 18% of its adult population with the first dose of the vaccine, and 9% with the second dose.
  • Kosrae has vaccinated 29% of its population with the first dose of the vaccine, and 10% with the second dose.

In the FSM, all adults aged 18 and up are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

And with the emergency authorization out for Johnson and Johnson vaccines, the national government has received assurance from the US government that it will increase its shipment to the islands.

According to the FSM National Government, they will use the Moderna vaccine to vaccinate the communities in the larger main islands as the Moderna vaccine is shipped in a solid state and, once it becomes liquid, must be used quickly. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine—which is shipped in a liquid state—will be used to vaccinate the remote atolls in Yap, Chuuk, and Pohnpei.

While the FSM has increased its vaccination rate, Panuelo said they are still moving at a slow pace.

“The good news is that we are making progress,” Panuelo said in a statement. “The bad news is that the progress we are making, as a nation, is too slow. I applaud the efficiency of the State of Yap, which—if it were judged as a separate jurisdiction—has a higher vaccination rate than the Republic of Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands; conversely, I call upon the States of Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae to follow Yap’s example, and to expedite their delivery of the vaccine to as many communities as possible. We must all do our part to protect this paradise in our backyards from the COVID-19 virus by taking the vaccine to protect our families and our communities.”