NEWS

NZ Health Experts Tell Pacific Community: Take Inspiration From Fiji

“The biggest concern with our community is you have to see it to believe it. It’s evident with what we are seeing in the stats, with our Pasifika community; you can see our vaccination rates are slowly rising and that’s great,” Dr Prescott said.
18 Oct 2021 14:43
NZ Health Experts Tell Pacific Community: Take Inspiration From Fiji

New Zealand Health experts have praised Fiji’s successful vaccination rollout and exemplary handling of the second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Newshub reported expert calls on the Pacific community in NZ to take inspiration from how Fiji has dealt with COVID-19 and the increase in the vaccination rate. 

Auckland Urgent Care Doctor and General Practitioner Dr Vanisi Prescott is urging the Pacific community to trust the vaccine and to look to their Fijian neighbours for inspiration. 

The vaccine, she reiterates, has been shown through studies and worldwide experience to be safe and highly effective at preventing serious illness and death. 

“The biggest concern with our community is you have to see it to believe it. It’s evident with what we are seeing in the stats, with our Pasifika community; you can see our vaccination rates are slowly rising and that’s great,” Dr Prescott said. 

Interestingly, according to specific ethnic groups in New Zealand, the Fijian community lead the vaccination rate with 90 per cent who have received their first dose and 71 per cent full vaccination. 

“I think it’s important for us as a Pacific community to look back and see what has happened in Fiji. I think a lot of people have forgotten,” she said. 

“The number of people that suffered from COVID-19 in Fiji was over 51,000 cases and they also had a young baby as young as 2 and a half months who died from COVID-19 and 663 deaths. 

“We can see now that 97 per cent of their Fiji population aged 18+ have received their first dose and the rates of the virus have reduced significantly.

“That’s a perfect example of our own people doing really well after being vaccinated and I think it’s a matter of our people seeing that, and I know that a lot of the community have a lot of fear and they have to be able to see that their own family members get vaccinated first.”

The calls follow the successful containment of the deadly Delta variant in Fiji.

Daily infections reached more than 1800 by mid-July – a huge number for a country of only 900,000 people.

The crisis caused 661 deaths.

Fast forward several months more than 95.7 per cent of eligible Fijians over the age of 18 have now received their first jab and 83.7 per cent are now fully vaccinated.

This comes after earlier praise about how the Fijian Government has raced ahead of Papua New Guinea in dealing with COVID-19.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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