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COVID-19

Fiji will pay for vaccine doses if needed: PM

March 7, 2021 8:25 am

Fiji is prepared to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine doses if the need be.

This has been stressed by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama while receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Nadi last night.

Bainimarama says Fiji is not a big country, yet we are only guaranteed enough vaccines for 20% of our population through COVAX, and the timeline for when all of those vaccines arrive is uncertain.

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The Prime Minister states they need many more boxes ticked in order to catch up to the developed nations which already have public immunization campaigns well underway.

“That is why we are working on a bilateral basis with our development partners, as well as with the vaccine manufacturers, to procure more safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines as soon as we can.”

Bainimarama says they will only ever secure vaccines that are proven to be safe and which are proven to do what they are meant to do, and that is to protect us from the coronavirus.

“These vaccines represent more than the way back to normal life; they are the shot of life our economy, our industries, and thousands of Fijian breadwinners need. It is about bringing back jobs, reconnecting families across borders and reclaiming Fiji’s rightful place in the world.

According to Bainimarama, the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines will be the most complex logistical effort in Fijian history.

But the Prime Minister stresses they have the organizational capacity to pull it off.

“We have real-life superheroes within the Ministry of Health who have the experience and know-how to lead this campaign. But they can’t achieve that mission alone. This must be a truly national effort to succeed.”

Bainimarama also thanked the organizations behind the COVAX Facility, including GAVI, the WHO, UNICEF, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiatives.

The frontline workers were also applauded for their work since the first case.

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