No fees for COVID-19 jabs
March 11, 2021 6:00 am
[Source: Fijian Government]
The COVID-19 vaccinations will be administered without any cost to Fijians says Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete.
The vaccination campaign was rolled out yesterday with 10 frontline workers receiving the jabs first.
Dr Waqainabete says even though the government may have to pay for the procurement of additional doses in the coming months, the costs will not be passed to the people.
“It is all free. We made it very clear that we want to vaccinate everyone in the eligible age group so 18 and above and also we want to offer both the dozes. Because certainly giving the second doze actually increases the efficacy of the vaccine.”
The initial 20 percent of the doses have been procured through the COVAX facility.
Dr Waqainabete says 15 percent of this consignment is free while the other five percent is subsidized.
“COVAX has made it very clear to us that the first 108, 000 dozes they want to give it to us within the first quarter which is which is about 15 percent and then we will have to work on the five percent.”
He adds the government is working with development partners and the COVAX facility through UNICEF to look at how Fiji can actually procure the vaccines itself.
Dr Waqainabete says the Ministry is grateful that $50m was set aside for them in the COVID-19 supplementary budget and $25m in the 2020/2021 budget.