Second jab to be administered within 10 weeks
March 13, 2021 6:00 am
The second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be administered after eight weeks of the first jab says Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete.
Dr Waqainabete says the first batch of 12, 000 doses will be administered among 6, 000 frontline workers who will undergo another round of vaccination to boost the efficacy of the vaccine.
He adds the quarantine and border management workers will need to wait at least ten weeks for their second jab of the AstraZeneca Vaccine.
“So the first 6, 000 will see the vaccines over the next few days then we will keep the next 6, 000 for them to be administered in the next 8 to 10 weeks’ time. And as the vaccines come in, so, for example, you get another 10, 000 doses then 5, 000 will receive the vaccine while the other five thousand will wait for eight to 10 weeks.”
The Acting Head at the WHO Suva Office, Dr Akeem Ali says the next round of vaccination is essential because it triggers the necessary immune response.
“The recommendation for the two jabs of doses at the moment is to have them taken 8 to 12 weeks apart. Because the studies have shown that when they are given apart from that timeline it increases the effectiveness of that vaccine.”
The Health Ministry will then focus on vaccinating Fijians who are 18 years and above.