A group of islands in the Pacific Ocean that’s one of the few regions on Earth free from Covid-19 could become one of the first places vaccinated against the virus. The Republic of Palau, an archipelago home to about 18,000 people, received its first cargo of the vaccine created by US pharmaceutical company Moderna on January 2, 2021. Shots began the next day, Palau’s Ministry of Health declared on Twitter. The first shipment has 2,800 doses of the vaccine. The doctors and nurses will administer the vaccine into two shots, 28 days apart.

As coronavirus cases started to grow, Palau was among the first to manage stricter border restrictions. The Republic of Palau locked the country’s borders entirely by March, and it began monitoring citizens for the virus by April. These strict methods were the answer to preventing the spread of Covid-19, Palau’s ambassador to the UN stated in May.