COVID-19 Fiji: Low booster dose take-up

Administration of COVID-19 vaccination booster shots in Fiji continues, but only about 22 percent of those eligible have gone on to receive the booster dose.

As of today, of the 583,504 fully vaccinated persons, about 546,000 people are eligible to receive the booster shot having been fully vaccinated for at least five months.

However, as of 4 April, two days ago, only 118,967 have received the third dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine

Although not mandatory, the ministry has been urging the public to receive the booster dose, as part of efforts to maintain Fiji’s level of protection against coronavirus in view of the resurgence of COVID-19 in other countries.

“The public is urged to get booster vaccine doses, and the list of vaccination sites is provided daily on the MOH webpage,” the ministry said in their most recent update.

“COVID is endemic to Fiji and is present in almost every country in the world, and as such the risk of resurgence will continue, with the highest risk to the unvaccinated, those with waning immunity, and those who have not had a vaccine booster dose.

“More importantly, the vulnerable among us will be susceptible to severe disease and death (even if they are vaccinated) when compared to the non-vulnerable group. Also, the non-vulnerable and mobile (e.g. young adults and adolescents) will always be able to transmit disease to the vulnerable. We expect that with the upcoming general elections, population mixing will be unavoidable.”

Booster doses are only being administered to adults aged 18 and above. The ministry uses Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for booster doses.

More people are expected to become eligible when the Ministry of Health reduces the wait interval between one’s second dose and booster to three months as opposed to five months “in recognition of the risk of disease surge.”

If the 3-month wait were to be applied, it would mean close to 24,000 more people becoming eligible today to receive the booster dose.

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