Fiji begins COVID-19 vaccination roll-out

Fiji began its COVID-19 vaccine programme today with frontline workers getting the first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine starting with Dr Ratu Mara Vukivukiseru.

Dr Vukivukiseru is a Consultant Anaesthetist and Critical Care in Lautoka Hospital and is also the ministry’s Covid-19 Clinical Lead in the West, Fiji’s Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete confirmed via tweeter.

He was one of 10 frontline workers who received the first shots of the vaccine at the arrivals terminal at the Nadi International Airport this morning.

The others include Ministry of Health (MOH) nurse – Pratika Singh, MOH Health inspector – Setareki Raiula, RFMF’s Major Neumi Vakadewabuka, FRCS – Sanjeep Reddy, hotelier – Daniel Roy, Fiji Airways Purser – Maria Vani, ATS Assistant Manager Passenger Services – Nairah Pakeezah Mohammed, Fiji Police Force Officer in Charge Border Police – Superintendent Aisake Kafoa and Fiji Airports’ Joe Grey.

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama described the exercise as a small step but an important one towards protecting Fijians from the virus that has claimed close to three million lives around the world.

“This first batch of vaccines is designated for doctors, nurses, health inspectors, quarantine facility staff, aviation and maritime staff, and members of our disciplined forces who have defended our border through this pandemic. These Fijians serve on the frontlines of our COVID Containment Strategy. They are first priority for the obvious reason that they face the highest risk of exposure to the virus.”

The first batch of 12,000 vaccines that arrived in Fiji on Sunday evening will be administered to 6,000 frontline workers already registered on the vaccine online portal. The Fijian Government will announce the next phase of the rollout in due course.

Photo: Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete Twitter

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