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It’s still an outbreak, not an epidemic says Health Minister

November 22, 2019 12:25 pm
Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete

Ninety-five percent of workers at the Nausori and Nadi Airports have been vaccinated against measles.

The Health Ministry says people should be wary clarifying that the disease remains as an outbreak and not an epidemic.

Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says some countries around the world have seen the worst of measles with Samoa declaring a state of emergency.

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“We are actually doubling the vaccinations to make sure that if somebody comes with measles they cannot contract it. That’s the due diligence and also the obsessive-compulsiveness is taken to try and make sure we control this disease and it doesn’t run rampant in our country. And together we can get through this without anybody dying. That’s my wish that nobody dies from measles.”


Nadi Airport staff are being vaccinated for measles. [Source: Health Ministry]

The Ministry is advising the public to refrain from mass gatherings not only in the Serua/Namosi subdivision where there is a measles outbreak but also in the Suva/Nausori corridor.


Nadi Airport staff are being vaccinated for measles. [Source: Health Ministry]

Dr Waqainabete says Fijians need to understand that measles is a deadly airborne disease and children are at high risk of contracting it.

“It’s a collective effort and we will have to work together. At the moment we are holding off our vaccinations for the at risk population which we are doing at the moment until we get our large cash of vaccinations that we will be getting through UNICEF from Europe. That hopefully will arrive in the weekend or early next week. Once that comes then we will carry on with the vaccinations that we do.”


Nadi Airport staff are being vaccinated for measles. [Source: Health Ministry]

The next batch of 200,000 vaccines will arrive in the country over the weekend or early next week.

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