Small Country Claims to Have Vaccinated 108 Percent of Population
That's gotta be a record, right?
The Republic of Nauru, a small island nation found due northeast of Australia, announced that it has officially vaccinated every adult in the country against COVID-19.
In fact, tallying up the number of adults who received at least one jab of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, the Nauru government says it’s set a world record by inoculating — wait for it — 108 percent of its estimated population, according to Agence France-Presse.
That’s not a typo. The government says that it had enough vaccines to cover both its entire adult population and the foreigners who happened to be living or staying on the island, giving out shots to a total of 7,392 people.
“The National Coronavirus Taskforce is extremely pleased with this world record result and thanks everyone on Nauru for playing their part to keep Nauru COVID free and safe,” the Nauru government said in a statement provided to AFP.
Nauru was able to get its AstraZeneca vaccines through the Covax program, a World Health Organization-coordinated effort in which wealthier nations subsidize the cost of COVID vaccines for their poorer neighbors. The program has vast global support but the US, China, and Russia all opted out.
Vaccinating a few thousand people is certainly a smaller challenge than that facing other countries, but vaccine taskforce chairman Kieren Keke told AFP that the country still took measures to keep the country coronavirus-free, like maintaining a robust testing program throughout the vaccination effort.
“With every arriving traveler, the risk of the coronavirus entering Nauru remains and recent events in PNG, Fiji, and India have shown how quickly the situation can change,” Keke told AFP.
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READ MORE: Nauru Vaccinates All Its Adults In “World Record” Effort [Agence France-Presse]
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