Japan-made COVID-19 vaccines handed over to Tonga

Japan-made COVID-19 vaccines handed over to Tonga
A provision of 36,800 doses Japan-made AstraZeneca vaccines through COVAX Facility arrived in the Kingdom of Tonga on Wednesday, 25 August 2021. His Excellency Mr. MUNENAGA Kensaku, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Tonga attended the handover ceremony at Fua’amotu International Airport, with Hon. Rev. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. Associate Professor Dr. ‘Amelia Afuha’amango Tu’ipolotu, Minister for Health, and other related officials.
The Government of Japan’s vaccines support was endorsed during the Ninth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM9) on 2nd  July, based on the request from Government of Tonga. Prime Minister SUGA announced that the Pacific Islands countries will be provided with approximately 3million doses of Japan-made AstraZeneca vaccines, through COVAX Facility.
In addition, Tonga’s Ministry of Health will be receiving transportation assistance of 5 vehicles and a boat to assist vaccination roll-out in outer islands, under Japan’s $9million US dollars Cold Chain assistance to the Pacific Island countries, channeled through the United Nationals Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The Government of Japan has also committed to fund $20.8 million US dollars in the Project for Strengthening Capacity of Health for COVID-19 Crisis to Pacific Islands including Tonga with the partnership of UNCIEF.
His Excellency Mr. MUNENAGA was pleased that the Japan-made vaccine will be able to contribute to the vaccination rollout in Tonga. “I fully appreciate the on-going tireless effort by the Tongan Government, especially the Ministry of Health and front liners, who have been working hard to achieve the COVID-free society as well as swift and efficient vaccinations for our people,” he said. Japan further contributed to Tonga’s protective measures against COVID-19, with the provision of themography cameras and medical equipment early this year, and Japan remains committed to extending necessary assistance to the Kingdom, against this global pandemic.
Hon. Prime Minister Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa thanked the Government of Japan and Prime Minister SUGA for the quick response in the vaccines assistance. “It is my pleasure to receive this Japan-made AstraZeneca vaccines. This will be utilized in Tongatapu and the Ha’apai islands to boost our effort in fighting against COVID-19.” Tonga’s Ministry of Health confirmed that the Japan-made AstraZeneca vaccines will be launched at Ha’apai islands, next Tuesday 31st of August, 2021.