COVID-19: Fiji’s Health Ministry in talks to secure vaccine for children

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FT FILE

The Health Ministry is in talks to secure vaccination for Fijians between the ages of 12 and 18.

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete made the comment during the debate on the 2021-2022 Appropriation Bill in Parliament on Tuesday.

“To date, we have confirmed enough vaccines for all age-eligible individuals and continue to dialogue for securing vaccination for the 12 years to 18 years of age, when it becomes acceptable and meeting the WHO criteria,” he said.

“We note that the EU has made recommendations on this and we are on track to have all the fully vaccinated age-eligible and individuals and enough vaccines to be able to reach out to our children less than 18 years old, when that guidance comes through.”

Dr Waqainabete said the Moderna vaccine, which had a 28-day interval between doses, was available and this was specifically for mothers and the vulnerable.

He said nearly 90 per cent of those who passed away from the virus were unvaccinated and just a little over 10 per cent had been partially vaccinated.

Dr Waqainabete said the vaccine rollout was on track to achieving greater than 80 per cent of the age-eligible population.

He said as of Tuesday morning, 449,934 first doses (76.6 per cent) and 103,742 (17.7 per cent) second doses had been administered.

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