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Authorities prioritize measles vaccine

November 20, 2019 4:46 pm
Minister responsible, Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete, confirms the measles vaccine stock levels have dropped and they’re waiting for the next batch to arrive.

The Health Ministry has today clarified that the amount of measles vaccine is limited.

It is being used for those travelling overseas, children between the ages of 1-5 and those living in the Serua/Namosi area.

Minister responsible, Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete, confirms the measles vaccine stock levels have dropped and they’re waiting for the next batch to arrive.

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Dr Waqainabete says they’ve gone through nearly a 100,000 doses in the last two weeks.

“Initially we were vaccinating people who were turning up – people at risk and even those not at risk. We were giving them routine vaccines but because the stock levels have dropped, somewhat we want to be sure that we have enough stock if there’s an outbreak somewhere else whilst we’re waiting for the next stock to replenish our supplies.”

He says they are now limiting measles vaccine shots as per the Ministry’s advisory.

“We are waiting for the next stock to arrive hopefully by the weekend at the latest early next week. It’s coming from Europe and once that arrives then we will open up again for mass vaccinations.”

The Minister has assured Fijians that they’re working to ensure that no Fijian dies from the disease.

“So once we get the stocks from overseas then it will give us a buffer and then we can be able, to begin with, vaccination of the rest of the population. We are assuring the public that we will all do what’s within our means to be able to protect Fiji from measles.”

There are now seven confirmed cases of measles from the Serua/Namosi Subdivision.

The Ministry says the latest confirmed cases are a 7-month-old and a 3-month-old from Wainadoi and a 19-year-old from Navunikabi in Namosi.

The two babies are currently admitted in isolation at Navua hospital.

The Serua/Namosi Outbreak Response Team has implemented response measures, including isolating cases, quarantining and vaccinating contacts and identifying at-risk communities.

 

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