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A reality that we have to contend with: MOH

January 19, 2021 3:43 pm
Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Doctor James Fong [left] and WHO Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

The Fijian Health Ministry says while it has been working to ensure the country gets its COVID-19 vaccines, there are some barriers.

This comes as the World Health Organization today said the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure due to the inequality in the availability of the vaccines.

WHO Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, says the disparity is becoming more evident in recent time.

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Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Doctor James Fong says the statement by WHO has been reflected in some of the difficulties Fiji is facing in understanding how much stocks we can access and the timeline of delivery.

He says WHO has highlighted a reality that we have to contend with.

Doctor Fong says the Ministry is engaged together with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other partners to mitigate as much as possible the impact of what is reflected by WHO.

He adds Fiji will also need to be more stringent with our initial deployment plans to ensure we target the high risk groups and ensure no wastage.

Doctor Tedros says not only does this me-first approach leave the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people at risk, it’s also self-defeating.

“Ultimately, these actions will only prolong the pandemic, the restrictions needed to contain it, and human and economic suffering. Vaccine equity is not just a moral imperative, it is a strategic and economic imperative.”

Earlier on it was confirmed that officials from Australia and Fiji have been working together on procurement and rollout of vaccines when they become available.

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