United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Partners with Kosrae State to Make Inroads with COVID-19 Education and Vaccinations

PALIKIR, Pohnpei—A three-person team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently wrapped up a three-week trip to Kosrae State, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), during which they were able to work closely with Kosrae State Government, the Kosrae State COVID-19 Task Force, and the FSM National COVID-19 Task Force. The team succeeded in vaccinating more than 500 people.

In a virtual presentation, the CDC team, led by Dr. Richard Brostrom, and members of the Kosrae State Government, presented the results of their recent experience introducing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to the population in Kosrae to His Excellency President David W. Panuelo and U.S. Ambassador Carmen G. Cantor.

CDC officials credited the visit’s success to the excellent cooperation of Kosrae officials, led by Kosrae Governor Carson K. Sigrah. With Kosrae’s large adolescent population in mind, the CDC utilized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to reach a large number of vaccine-eligible school-aged youth. In partnership with Kosrae State and close coordination with the FSM COVID-19 Task Force, the teams held public outreach sessions the night before vaccination clinics at local schools, where the CDC team answered questions and ensured parental consent.

The FSM COVID-19 Task Force is looking to replicate this experience across the States of Yap, Chuuk, and Pohnpei once the ultra-cold storage equipment provided by the CDC is ready. National health officials will provide training to ensure vaccinations are carried out properly.

Based upon the latest data, it is estimated that Kosrae has now reached 73% of the adolescent population with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 91% of the eligible adults with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“On behalf of the people and Government of the FSM,” President Panuelo said in a statement, “I extend our deepest and sincerest gratitude to the US CDC for their generous assistance in helping our country combat the COVID-19 Pandemic. I further express my appreciation to the people and Government of the State of Kosrae for their sense of community, and for showing the example that—by working together—we can transition from being COVID-19 free to COVID-19 protected.”