First COVID-19 Vaccine Jab Set For Wednesday

Front liners to be given first shot of vaccine doses.
07 Mar 2021 09:50
First COVID-19 Vaccine Jab Set For Wednesday
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Health Minister Ifereimi Waqainabete and international representatives at the Nadi International Airport with the newly-arrived AstraZeneca vaccine. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, AstraZeneca, will be administered on Wednesday. This comes after the first batch of vaccines arrived into the country last night.

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong said they had identified the first people who would be given the vaccine.

“It will be given where the front liners are in the Western Division,” he said.

“We got the list of people to get the first shot, but we will be able to announce when plans for the event of the first jab are finalised.”

In a nation with no community transmission, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services has identified the frontliners as the first priority to get the vaccination.

“The next target population are the ones who are prone to sickness and diseases, the senior age groups over 60 years of age,” Dr Fong said.

“There is no timeline set yet for the next batch because it will depend on the production of these vaccines.”

Dr Fong said the AstraZeneca vaccine could be stored in any fridge and the ministry had the assistance of a cold chain storage that could store the vaccines.

He pointed out that the World Health Organisation’s vaccine facility COVAX only covered 20 per cent of the population.

The first batch that arrived yesterday was aid.

“We are having some bilateral discussions to ascertain whether we will purchase the other batches through donors or directly by the Government, which has committed itself so that vaccines come into the country,” he said.

“It will solely depend on the production by the company and the orders we procure because every other country is rushing towards getting the vaccines.”

There are zero new cases of COVID-19 to report in this update.

It has been three days since the last border quarantine case was reported. There has been one recovery, leaving six active border quarantine cases currently admitted at the Lautoka Hospital Isolation Unit.

It has been 323 days since the last case was detected outside border quarantine, which was on April 18, 2020.

Fiji has had 63 cases in total, with 55 recoveries and two deaths, since the first case was reported on March 19, 2020. The past 45 cases have been international travel associated cases detected in border quarantine.

There are currently 660 people, who have recently arrived from overseas undergoing mandatory 14-day quarantine in Government supervised border quarantine facilities.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce


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