Fijians urged to get vaccinated to reduce Covid-19 transmission

Fijians have been encouraged to do their best to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 to protect the vulnerable population.

The Ministry of Health’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. James Fong is urging all Fijians who are eligible to get vaccinated or take their booster shots.

Dr. Fong highlighted that the analysis of the first 95 deaths in the vaccine eligible population during this third wave has revealed that fully vaccinated adults have 16.2 times lower rate of death from Covid-19 than unvaccinated adults.

He said this is comparable to rates seen overseas, which is an indication of the quality of the country’s Covid-19 vaccination programme, even with the urgency of ensuring rapid deployment of vaccines in a very short time period.

Dr Fong added that it is a testament to the work put in by their dedicated health teams and partner agencies to ensure that protocols are followed, and vaccines are administered properly to the people of Fiji.

“Our Covid safe measures however must continue in the near term and probably in the medium term to protect those who are most vulnerable. We have seen relatively low rates of hospitalizations and death in this wave due to our high rate of vaccination and we have not had to create any extra space in our treatment facilities or in our mortuaries.”

The ministry also confirmed the huge difference in death rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated adults is even further evidence that vaccination lowers the risk of severe disease outcomes from Covid-19.

Dr. Fong said the booster vaccine and vaccination for children are not considered mandatory, however, they encourage all eligible individuals to be vaccinated or get a booster dose, and help navigate Fiji into a safer covid zone that supports the socio-economic revival and safer reopening of schools.

He added that the vaccination of children under 12 years remains part of ongoing discussions as sourcing those remains difficult.