Fiji sets target-population vaccination timeline

Fijian authorities have set a goal to vaccinate the target population by the end of the year.

Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong said they would want at least all eligible 650,000 individuals to receive their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine by August, and receive their second dose by November.

However, meeting these targets depends largely on the supply of vaccines, Dr Fong said.

“We always have to be cautious of those timelines because as I say, the timelines are based on the supply chain, it is not based on our ability to vaccinate.”

In five days starting 24 May 2021, the Ministry of Health managed to administer 36,885 vaccinations of which 33,077 were for individuals receiving their first doses and 3,808 for those whose second dose was due such as frontline workers.

“ So we don’t have any problem in the capacity to carry out vaccination. The issue will remain that of the supply chain and based on what’s supposed to come in, we are  looking at November.”

Fiji current vaccination commitment from the COVAX facility and other governments cover more than the target population, but they will arrive in the country in batches.

“The vaccine is a fairly new vaccine. The production has just started so they have to come in batches.”

As of Saturday 29 May, the ministry had administered the first dose of the vaccine to at least 21% of the target population.

Vaccination resumes today. Those keen to be vaccinated need to register which can be done online via the Ministry of Health website or in-person at the closest vaccination venue.

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