RFMF Troops Bound For Golan Get COVID-19 Shots

Lieutenant-Colonel Rokoura stated that he wanted to lead the way to show the troops that it was safe.
13 Mar 2021 11:30
RFMF Troops Bound For Golan Get COVID-19 Shots
Reverend Major Ilaitia Tuwere gets his AstraZeneca shot at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks on Friday, March 12, 2021. Photo: RFMF Media Cell

More than 140 troops bound for United Nations service in the Golan were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks yesterday.

The Golan bound troops Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Aseri Rokoura and Padre, Reverend Major Ilaitia Tuwere, were among the first to be vaccinated.

Lieutenant-Colonel Rokoura stated that he wanted to lead the way to show the troops that it was safe.

In a statement, Director Peace Support Operations, Colonel Pacolo Luveni said that last month in a formal communique the United Nations Secretary General requested all Troop and Police Contributing Countries to vaccinate their troops prior to deployment, as these troops were considered priority frontline troops in the fight against COVID-19.

Colonel Luveni added that Fiji through the Ministry of Health, had authorised the use of World Health Organisation approved vaccines only, of which the AstraZeneca vaccine was one of three approved vaccines, with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines being the other two.

Colonel Luveni expressed his gratitude to the WHO COVAX facility and Government through the Ministry of Health for providing vaccines for the troops.

In addressing queries and concerns about the vaccines effectiveness and side effects, Colonel Luveni stated that he was not a medical professional but if the World Health Organisation scientists had deemed the Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine safe for use, and this was endorsed by our experts, then soldiers of the RFMF should be assured that it’s safe and effective.

After the vaccination, soldiers interviewed mentioned that the injection was painless and that they were told to remain seated for 15 minutes in the event there were adverse reactions.

The vaccination for the 140 troops was completed without any complications and the second shot of the vaccine will be administered in three months.

Fiji is one of the first countries in the world to vaccinate its troops prior before deployment.


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