High vaccination coverage will reduce the spread of the virus to those ineligible to receive the vaccine including children.
Fiji’s Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong said getting as many eligible persons vaccinated is protection that adults and/or parents can provide vulnerable members of the community including their children.
Of Fiji’s 299 COVID-deaths to date, three of the victims are children dying within a month, the youngest only a baby at 11 months old and the other two, both teen girls – an event said to be rare, but could not be avoided given Fiji’s high level of community transmission.
“Severe disease in children is rare but because we have such a high level of community transmission, rare events become more visible,” Dr Fong said.
Of Fiji’s total COVID-19 infections since March 2020, 65.3% remains active, all on VIti Levu, 33.5% have recovered and 1.2% died including those whose deaths were attributed to pre-existing medical conditions.
Fiji’s vaccination target population set at 586,651 represents only 66% of the country’s 2017 census population. As of Sunday 8 August, 87.5% of the target population have received at least one dose and 30.8% are fully vaccinated.
The health ministry is in discussions with international partners to acquire Pfizer vacccine for children aged 12 to 18 years.
Photo: Screen Grab of Active and New COVID-19 cases on Viti Levu