Fiji is pre-positioning itself and liaising with relevant global stakeholders to ensure access to monkeypox vaccines if the need arises.
The World Health Organization says vaccine-related products will be prioritized for those at risk, as the WHO is taking a ring-fencing approach.
Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says they are tracking the development of monkeypox globally and devising relevant containment measures.
“Once we have prepositioned both, we will work out a strategy on how to deploy both. In terms of vaccination, currently, the recommendation is around a strategy called ring-fencing where you provide vaccination around cases rather than just generally throw vaccines around the country.”
WHO Head of Emerging Diseases, Doctor Maria Van Kerkhove says they will be making recommendations on who should be prioritized to receive the vaccine as it is not something that everyone needs.
She adds it’s also not readily available.
“There are products that are available but they are not widely available yet. We have an opportunity here to use this appropriately to use for those who are at risk. We will be making recommendations on who should be prioritized for this.”
Fiji is confident that given the nature of monkeypox, the Ministry of Health will be able to contain any possible cases using measures implemented during COVID-19.