PS assures Fijians on vaccine safety

February 27, 2024 12:15 pm

[Source: NCI]

The Health Ministry is committed to tackle Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPDs) with a focus on prevention, control and elimination.

Permanent Secretary Dr. Jemesa Tudravu shared this and also acknowledges the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to immunization services leading to lower vaccination rates and subpar surveillance at the local level.

He says that Fiji remains dedicated to achieving measles-rubella elimination in the Pacific by 2025.

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Dr. Tudravu assures the public of vaccine safety highlighting the presence of a surveillance system for adverse events following immunization (AEFI) to promptly address any safety concerns.

Addressing gaps in surveillance, testing, sequencing and vaccination is crucial to prevent the emergence or re-emergence of vaccine-preventable diseases with significant mortality risks.

Dr. Tudravu emphasized these concerns yesterday in a workshop for medical officers on National Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Surveillance and Adverse Events Following Immunization.

The PS says that continuous efforts are underway to eliminate diseases like measles and rubella, control outbreaks, and strengthen routine immunization and disease surveillance systems in Fiji.

Fiji, he adds aligns its strategies with global initiatives like “Immunization Agenda 2030” and regional frameworks, addressing challenges such as vaccine hesitancy and misinformation.

Dr Tudravu has expressed gratitude to the World Health Organization (WHO) for supporting crucial training to enhance surveillance and reporting systems.

The training aims to conduct thorough reviews, implement targeted interventions and improve the overall effectiveness of Fiji’s immunization program.