COVID-19 Fiji: Delay in digitising vaccine jabs, but all are recorded: Health

Fiji’s Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong says they have not found a case where an administered vaccine has not been accounted for, in particular those jabs that were manually recorded.

The assurance comes in the wake of delays in verifying the vaccination status of some of the applicants for the Fijian Government’s recent $360 unemployment assistance scheme.

To approve applications, the $360 assistance processing team needed to verify if applicants have indeed had their first jab as per one of the mandatory requirements. It was found that jabs were recorded as administered, but manually, and had not been entered into the vaccination database or the digital registry. Some applicants reportedly returned to their vaccination sites to collect their vaccine reference number in order to access the $360 assistance.

Dr Fong said they have a team that is working on updating the registry with the manually-recorded data.

“That data is currently being input into the digital registry through a rigorous process of data rectification. While there is an understandable delay in uploading the manual record of vaccines to the digital registry, we have not found a case where a person’s vaccination record was not recorded digitally or manually,” Dr Fong said.

The digital COVID-19 Vaccination Registry, he says, securely verifies registrations in real-time using birth information from the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry and the citizenship and permit information from the Department of Immigration. It also allows individuals easy access to their vaccination status.

The ministry is also carrying out a mop-up exercise of the first dose campaign, targeting communities with low coverage. At the same time, the ministry is reviewing data of subdivisions that have generated rates above 100 per cent which is the case for Ba, Nadroga, Naitasiri, as well as Rewa/Nausori.

This will allow us to correct and update the total eligible population for our current vaccination program, Dr Fong said.

As of 31 August, 560,336 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine, 49 per cent of them have gone on to receive their second dose.

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