Children COVID19 vaccination explored as Fiji achieve 78% Dose 1 coverage

Fiji’s Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says the ministry has begun discussions on vaccinating children aged 12 to 18 years against COVID-19 in a bid to ensure maximum protection as the country achieves 78% first dose vaccine coverage within days from month end.

Addressing the Fijian Parliament last evening Dr Waqainabete said to date dialogue continues on the vaccination of children aged 12 and over, when it becomes acceptable, meeting World Health Organisation criteria and be in a position to facilitate the deployment when the green light is given.

“We note that the European Union has made recommendations of this recently, and we are on track to have all the fully vaccinated age-eligible 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.

Around the world, vaccinating children under 18s is still open to debate with countries’ expressing opposing views on whether children should be vaccinated or not. International media reports have it that United States, Canada and the EU have begun vaccinating children, with priority for those with comorbidities or who reside with vulnerable household members.

Meanwhile, as of 8 am today, Fiji’s dose one coverage has up to 78% and second dose, 19%.

Division wise, 78.1% of the central division’s target population have received their first jab, and 17.1% are fully vaccinated. In the eastern division, coverage stands at 39.1% and 6.5%, northern 68.5% and 10.3% and in the West 85.6% and 26.3% for the first dose and second dose inoculation respectively.

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