More than half a million doses of Pfizer vaccines, that will be used to vaccinate children aged 12 years and above and support Fiji’s booster program, will be arriving into Fiji over the next three months.
The 530,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines are being provided by Australia through a partnership with UNICEF and New Zealand to procure vaccines for partner countries in the Pacific by the end of 2022.
Acknowledging the partners, Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong says the vaccines will save more lives as Fiji battles with the third wave of the pandemic.
“Protecting children and adults from infection and severe disease is a key part of our strategy to facilitate socioeconomic recovery. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is grateful that these vaccines will be dedicated to the children aged 12 years and above. Additionally, these vaccines will be rolled out as part of Fiji’s COVID-19 booster program,” Dr Fong said.
Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes said the latest batch of vaccines bring to over 1.6 million doses the total number of Australian-supplied vaccines to Fiji.
“Australia was also pleased to work with the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services and UNICEF to upgrade Fiji’s cold chain storage to support the rollout of Pfizer vaccines.”
This is also the first delivery to the Pacific under Australia’s partnership with UNICEF, and Australia’s broader commitment to share 60 million doses with Indo Pacific neighbours, also by the year’s end.
“We thank the Governments of Australia and New Zealand for supporting our joint efforts with the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services in protecting communities, especially children, from the ongoing threats posed by COVID-19 in Fiji,” said UNICEF Pacific Representative, Jonathan Veitch. “These Pfizer vaccines will protect thousands of Fijian children against severe symptomatic illness from the virus.”
New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Charlotte Darlow said the New Zealand Government is committed to assisting Fiji’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, having already donated Pfizer for 12-14 year olds, and 100,000 doses of Astra Zeneca.
“This latest donation through the partnership is a further demonstration of our support to lifting vaccination rates and building COVID-19 resilience in Fiji.”