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COVID-19

No change in age recommendation for use of vaccine

June 19, 2021 3:22 pm

The Ministry of Health says Fiji maintains its stance to use the AstraZeneca vaccine on people ages 18 and above.

The Ministry released a joint statement with the World Health Organization as Australia announced changes to age recommendations for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Ministry of Health says Fiji, alongside 22 other countries globally, has successfully and safely administered over two billion doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 18 years and older.

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It says it is aware that Australia recently announced changes to their age recommendations following a rare but serious adverse event following immunization.

It adds decisions such as this are being undertaken by national governments on the basis of various considerations, including weighing up the various risks.

The Ministry of Health says in the Fiji context, our case numbers are escalating daily and the risk of being infected with COVID-19 and getting a severe disease and dying is much higher than in Australia because we have community transmission in the Lami-Nausori area and in the Western division.

It says Australia’s decision does not change the approach here in Fiji.

The Ministry says with the current community transmission and COVID-19 variant, all unvaccinated individuals are at risk from the virus.

The World Health Organization’s recommendations for Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines remain the same, with the vaccines recommended for individuals aged 18 years and over.

The joint statement says vaccines have undergone the strictest safety and quality control trials and have reached the exacting standards of safety, purity, and effectiveness.

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