PM: Jab Is Safe

There’s a lot of fake news and misinformation that has been circulating during COVID-19 and now with the vaccines being rolled out to our frontline Fijians.
12 Mar 2021 11:30
PM: Jab Is Safe
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama . Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has backed health experts’ take on the COVID-19 vaccine being safe adding that it held the key to our economic recovery.

Mr Bainimarama made the comment after countering fake claims on social media that many around the world had either fallen ill after being vaccinated or died.

Claims that the vaccine is also the ‘Mark of the Beast’ have also been made in Parliament.

Mr Bainimarama said: “The vaccine is part of the arsenal of public health measures that we have employed to date.

“We are relying on it to protect our people and prepare our nation to re-engage with the rest of the world and reclaim the position in global affairs we’ve worked so hard to achieve.”

The vaccination roll-out programme began on Wednesday with our frontline workers given the priority from the first 12,000 batch which arrived last Saturday.

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said: “There’s a lot of fake news and misinformation that has been circulating during COVID-19 and now with the vaccines being rolled out to our frontline Fijians.

“We have made it noticeably clear that people only take heed of the information put out by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the Fijian Government.

“We are using the AstraZeneca vaccine which is found to be safe by the World Health Organisation which will allow us to prevent people from getting very sick with COVID-19.”

Dr Waqainabete reiterated that it was important that people spread the truth and not create fear among the public with their false information.

The vaccine is a two-dose vaccine given between four to 12 weeks and according to the World Health Organization it has an 82.4 per cent effectiveness rate in preventing individuals from contracting COVID-19.


Religious bodies back Govt

Meanwhile, major religious bodies in the country have backed Government’s vaccination saying it was in the best interest of individuals.

Then India Sanmarga Ikya (TISI) Sangam national president, Sadasivan Naicker urged followers to get vaccinated.

“I believe the Government is looking at the best interest of individuals on its important role in combating the spread of COVID,” he said.

“I encourage my TISI Sangam members to take the vaccine according to the plans made by the government and hope borders will once again be open to all.

“We should be happy knowing the Government and other stakeholders are doing their best and sacrificing a lot for others safety and health.

“We do miss travelling overseas and seeing our relatives and I am hopeful it will come to pass.”

Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma President, Reverend Ili Vunisuwai, who did not wish to delve on the issue of fake news, said: “The Government of the day knows what they are doing, and we will leave it as that.”

Fiji Muslim League president Hafiz-Ud-Dean Khan said the COVAX vaccine was important, and they had no hesitation in telling members of the public to receive the dose.

Catholic Archbishop of Suva, Peter Loy Chong did not respond when this article went to press.




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