Tiny remote Pacific island nation of Palau with 17,651 population celebrates 99% vaxxed rate

Even with such a small population, not everyone can be vaxxed.

Jean Chien Tay | October 14, 2021, 08:00 PM

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The tiny Pacific island nation of Palau recently became one of the world's most vaccinated countries, with over 99 per cent of the eligible population vaccinated against Covid-19.

With a projected population of 17,651, Palau's Ministry of Health and Human Services (MHHS) announced that 16,152 people have been fully vaccinated, while another 554 adults over the age of 18 have received their third shot.

Palau only recorded its first Covid-19 case in August 2021, which was an imported case from Guam, Anadolu Agency reported.

As of Oct. 13, Palau only recorded eight cases of Covid-19 infection, with no deaths reported, according to data from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

With their small population size, the sparsely populated island appears largely quiet and occasionally deserted, with few of their inhabitants pictured in photos on Google Maps.

High vaccination rates in Cook Islands and Fiji

The success of high vaccination rates in many Pacific countries, such as Palau, Fiji, and the Cook Islands was lauded by head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Pacific Office Katie Greenwood in a press release.

Cook Islands recently announced that they have vaccinated 96 per cent of their population, while over 93 per cent of the eligible population in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine, and over 65 per cent are done with their second dose.

Less than 1 per cent in Papua New Guinea fully vaccinated

However, on the other hand, the IFRC highlighted that several countries in the Pacific have much lower vaccination rates.

According to data from Our World in Data, less than 7 per cent of the Kiribati population are fully vaccinated, while about 4 per cent of the population in Solomon Islands are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, less than 1 per cent of the people in Papua New Guinea are fully vaccinated.

This leaves the people of such places vulnerable to modern day diseases that can threaten to wipe out whole populations.

The IFRC further stressed the need for vaccines to be made available to the Pacific nations in order for vaccines to be "delivered quickly".

"With restrictions easing, it is important we achieve even higher vaccinations and keep up public health measures. No one is safe until we are all safe.”, Greenwood added.

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Top image via Google Maps