The Marshall Islands has pulled out of a Pacific regional Covid vaccine program because a steady stream of vaccines from the United States government is meeting the needs of the Republic.

After initially registering to participate in a vaccine program known as COVAX sponsored by the World Health Organization and managed in the region by the Pacific Community (SPC), the Marshall Islands said this week the US Centers for Disease Control is supplying an adequate supply of vaccines.

On Friday, the Ministry of Health advised WHO and (SPC) officials that they were pulling out of the COVAX program, said Health Secretary Jack Niedenthal.

This followed a series of meetings with public health staff at the Ministry of Health to discuss the merits of the COVAX program, he said.

With over 13,000 Moderna brand vaccines delivered to the Marshall Islands since the end of December, the ministry is now vaccinating any adult aged 18 and above.

This follows priority vaccination of health workers and other “front line” workers at air and seaports starting at the end of December.

Before the US-provided vaccines began arriving, the Marshall Islands had signed up for the COVAX program as a way to ensure it would have the vaccine coverage needed.

SOURCE – RADIO NZ

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