Government To Set Up Timeline For COVID-19 Vaccination

A-G: “We are looking at a number of issues such as the availability of vaccine in the right quantity, the cost of the vaccine, and the logistical implementation of the vaccine”
22 Jan 2021 11:49
Government To Set Up Timeline For COVID-19 Vaccination

Government will set up a timeline for the COVID-19 vaccination programme when it arrives in the country in April.

The vaccine will be free for Fijians, but before its implementation, a lot of things have to be considered.

Given our COVID contained status, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the priority list applicable to some other countries would not be done here.

Addressing the Suva Retailers Association at the Holiday Inn Suva on Wednesday, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “Initially, it was said the most vulnerable were children, then they said it was the elderly, but it would be different for Fiji as we are COVID contained.

“We are extremely lucky because of the decisive actions taken by the Government to be COVID contained.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said many nations in the world are not able to do the things Fijians are doing.

He said the Government had been looking at the issue of vaccines and had contacted suppliers.

He said Fiji would only get the vaccine which ticked all the boxes by the World Health Organisation.

“We are looking at a number of issues such as the availability of vaccine in the right quantity, the cost of the vaccine, and the logistical implementation of the vaccine,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He said most vaccines required two doses while there was one which required one.

He said Fiji would take its queue from WHO and only utilise the vaccine that would be approved by them.

And because of the mass administration and logistical dilemmas, the Government would most likely partner with the private sector.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum hinted at this by commending the multimillion-dollar freezer storage facility being developed by Ashabhai.

The inoculation phase is yet to be determined.

While Fiji waits for its dose, many nations have started administering vaccines in their nations.

In the UK

According to BBC, the UK has already begun its mass vaccination with the over-70s bracket along with health workers taking priority.

By mid-February the over-50s will be targeted and the other priority groups would follow.

The priority list are thought to represent 90-99 per cent of those at risk of dying from COVID-19.

By autumn, the rest of the adult population, another 21 million people, will be offered a vaccine – possibly prioritising front-line workers, such as the police, the fire service and teachers.

In Australia

Closer to home, the ABC reported that the expected rollout of the first coronavirus vaccine in Australia has been brought forward by two weeks to early March.

The first jabs will be of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, of which the Government has secured 10 million doses.

In Japan

The Japan Times reported that by the end of this month, Japan’s local clinical trials are set to begin for the Moderna vaccine. This is the tentative programme for the country.

Pfizer is also scheduled to submit the data from its clinical trials by the end of this month.

Part of the reason why Japan is taking longer to roll out the vaccines is that it requires more clinical tests than other countries for the vaccine to be deemed safe.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa


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