COVID-19 Vaccination Updates

Pfizer FDA approved; Kosrae begins vaccinations of 16-year-olds and above

 The US Food and Drug Administration has recently fully approved the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer, to include use for ages 16 years and older.  Currently, Pohnpei State is using both the Moderna and Johnson&Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.  Kosrae State is currently using the approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for vaccinating 16 years old and above, with the expert assistance of officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Health Officials from the Pohnpei State Department of Health are currently looking into the use of Pfizer, but no official announcement has been made yet. 

Pohnpei Chamber of Commerce meets with COVID-19 Task Force to discuss COVID-19 response efforts

On Wednesday, August 18, the Pohnpei Chamber of Commerce (PCC) met with the Chair, Dr. Elizabeth Keller, and Vice-Chair, Director of Public Safety Patrick Carl of the Pohnpei COVID-19 Task Force to openly discuss areas of concern with Pohnpei’s COVID-19 response efforts. 

Representing the leadership of the PCC were Mr. Benjamin Rodriguez, Mr. Cassidy Shoniber, and Mr. Richie Adams.  Also included in the meeting were former Governor Marcelo Peterson and business owners from Ray & Dors Enterprises, Black Sand Enterprises, INS, Ace Hardware, NAPA, Sunset car rental, A&P Construction, and other local businesses. 

Discussion topics included questions and concerns about the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, guidelines in place for an active case in Pohnpei, repatriation priorities and flights, Pohnpei vaccination percentage, and general COVID-19 medical questions. 

Concerning the Delta variant, PCC members were advised that currently, Pohnpei State is undergoing routine reviewing and updating of standard operating procedures with consideration of the DELTA variant.  The current repatriation flights schedule of two repatriation flights per month has been recommended to Governor Oliver for once a month only.  Concerning vaccinations, (at the time of the meeting) 55 percent of Pohnpei’s target population of 18 years and above was vaccinated.  PCC members were advised of Pohnpei’s goal to reach 70 percent.  All PCC members including their employees and family members were encouraged to get vaccinated at the earliest possible time.  

Director Carl and Dr. Keller assured the members that Pohnpei State is doing all they can to prevent the arrival of the virus on our shores and welcomed the comments and concerns brought to them.  Recommendations made by PCC will be shared with the rest of the Pohnpei Task Force.  The general public is encouraged to call the COVID-19 hotline at 320-3109 for any questions, comments, or concerns regarding COVID-19.

‘Historical’ Case found at MMA quarantine facility

On August 17, 2021, Dr. Elizabeth Keller and Acting Chair of the Pohnpei COVID-19 Task Force, Mr. Patrick Carl advised Governor Oliver that COVID-19 testing conducted at MMA for the recently repatriated residents in quarantine for seven (7) days revealed one positive test for SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.  The resident and roommate were immediately isolated and an investigation was conducted by the health staff.  During the investigation, additional COVID-19 tests were conducted and the results were negative.  All other residents including the roommate were tested negative for SARS CoV-2.  

The case was isolated and determined to be a historical case meaning that the resident was previously infected and had fully recovered and was deemed non-infectious. The case and her roommate were isolated and monitored for an additional 7 days.

The public is advised to remain calm as this presents no risk to the community.

Governor Oliver attends Police Motorcycle and vehicle dedication ceremony

Governor Oliver delivered remarks on Friday, August 13, 2021, at the Department of Public Safety to mark the receipt of four brand new Police motorcycles and two Police vehicles. 

Joining Governor Oliver today at the ceremony was Speaker of the 10th Pohnpei State Legislature, Hon. Stevick Edwin, Vice Speaker Hon. McGarry Miguel, Senator Hon. Ricky Carl, Mr. Gustin Harris representing the Chief Justice of Pohnpei Supreme Court, and Director of the Department of Treasury and Administration, Ms. Christina Elnei.

During his remarks, Governor Oliver spoke highly of the collaborative efforts of the Department of Public Safety and National Government through the Joint Law Enforcement Agreement and Pohnpei State Legislature for the purchase of not only these new vehicles but also new Police uniforms (3 sets each), badges and duty belts.  Governor Oliver mentioned the ongoing work with the Junior Police Programs in Kitti, Madolenihmw, and Sokehs that are changing the perceptions of Police Officers for the better.  He ended his remarks with a short story to highlight the need for discernment, to not just have the skills, knowledge, and equipment required to be a Police Officer, but also know when and how much to apply their skills and knowledge. 

Speaker Edwin praised the ongoing good work of the Department of Public Safety.  He noted that the new equipment and vehicles are simply tools to enhance their important work of enforcing the law and keeping the peace. 

By PIO

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