Fijian Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainibete said today that COVID-19 vaccines are only part of Fiji’s defensive mechanism, the core of which remains rigorous and increased compliance with existing public health mitigation measures.
While science has proven that new vaccines will provide some defence…physical distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene and isolations remain the top of our defensive mechanism and is essential to limit the spread of the virus and protect public health, Dr Ifereimi said in his ministerial statement in parliament this morning.
He said these measures as well as Fiji’s improved capacity to carry out tests, setting up of fever clinics and subsequent moves to place border restrictions, among others, have collectively ensured that Fiji remains COVID-19 contained, one year and six days on since it recorded its first case on 19 March 2020.
Dr Ifereimi also provided an update on the number of individuals who have been vaccinated in the country – 6,278 in total, mostly frontline workers based in the West who accounted for close to 80% of those vaccinated at 4,821, and in the Central and Northern divisions, 1137 and 320 respectively.
” I am also happy to report that out of the 6,278 there were no adverse event following immunisation. Some individuals develop mild side effects which were temporary and adequately managed with symptomatic care (antipyretics) and hydration. “
Before June, the ministry hopes to have vaccinated the rest of healthcare workers around the country including private practitioners as well as vulnerable individuals with co-morbid conditions such as Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiac issues, Renal Diseases etc. including persons with disability – accounting for at least 145,400 individuals.