PS Health urges eligible Fijians to get vaccinated

January 29, 2022 7:08 am

Fijians who are eligible to get vaccinated or their booster shot are being encouraged to do so.

Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong says Fijians must do their best to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 to protect vulnerable populations.

Dr. Fong also highlighted that the analysis of the first 95 deaths in the vaccine eligible population during this third wave has revealed that fully vaccinated adults have a 16.2 times lower rate of death from COVID-19 than unvaccinated adults.

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He says this is comparable to rates seen overseas, which is an indication of the quality of Fiji’s COVID-19 vaccination program, even with the urgency of ensuring rapid deployment of vaccines in a very short time period.

The PS for Health says this is a testament to the work put in by their dedicated health teams and partner agencies to ensure that protocols are followed, and vaccines are administered properly to the people of Fiji.

“Our COVID safe measures however must continue in the near term and probably in the medium term to protect those who are most vulnerable. We have seen relatively low rates of hospitalizations and death in this wave due to our high rate of vaccination and we have not had to create any extra space in our treatment facilities or in our mortuaries.”

Dr. Fong says the huge difference in death rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated adults is even further evidence that vaccination lowers the risk of severe disease outcomes from COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Dr. Fong says the booster vaccine and vaccination for children are not considered mandatory, however, they encourage all eligible individuals to be vaccinated or get a booster dose, and help navigate Fiji into a safer covid zone that supports the socio-economic revival and safer reopening of schools.

He adds that the vaccination of children under 12 years remains part of ongoing discussions as sourcing those remains difficult.