NEWS

India To Help Fiji With Astrazeneca Vaccines

“These AstraZeneca vaccines were manufactured by the Covashield Branch in India and it had proven to be very effective,”
19 Mar 2021 11:15
India To Help Fiji With Astrazeneca Vaccines
Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete gets his AstraZeneca shot from Staff Nurse Kesaia Naqona in Suva on March 18, 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Government of India is in the process of arranging the delivery of a significant number of AstraZeneca vaccines into Fiji.

This was revealed by the Acting Indian High Commissioner to Fiji Sukanta Sahoo yesterday.

Mr Sukanta said the agreement was signed in India on Wednesday and they were awaiting endorsement from the Fijian Government.

“These AstraZeneca vaccines were manufactured by the Covashield Branch in India and it had proven to be very effective,” he said.

“I am not able to disclose the number of vaccines we are arranging, but I can assure you that it is more than what Fiji had received on its first batch that arrived a few weeks ago.

“Once we are able to confirm the shipment date we will announce all other details of the vaccines.”

He said the Indian High Commission would be able to release other details while they were finalised by next week.

Best kept secret

“Fiji and the Pacific’s handling of COVID-19 is one of the best kept secrets that I know of.”

United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator, Sanaka Samarasinha said this in an interview at the Radisson Blu Resort Fiji in Nadi yesterday.

Mr Samarasinha said it was an amazing story to tell the rest of the world how Fiji and the other Pacific Island countries worked together to contain the global COVID-19 pandemic.

He said although we managed to contain the pandemic, there still was not enough credit given to Fiji and the other Pacific Island nations.

“It really is an amazing story in some ways not surprised but I am disappointed that Fiji and the Pacific countries that have managed to contain COVID for so long have not got the credit and people have not learnt their lessons from these countries and look at us, we are able to walk around and not wear masks,” he said.

“Of course, the economy is in shambles because of the COVID that has rampaged around the world. One reason that has been the case is because back in 2019 when there was a measles outbreak in the Pacific, the World Health Organization and the UN agencies got together along with partners, Government and development partners to setup a team to manage and look out for the measles outbreak and that team was reconfigured in January 2020 to prepare for COVID-19 coming into the Pacific.

“Early planning and sticking to the plan and the political will in my view and the leadership and vision of the countries and the Governments has really helped Fiji and other Pacific countries succeed and we really need to get that story out to the rest of the world,” Mr Samarasinha said.

Meanwhile, Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete and Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong were vaccinated yesterday.

Feedbackinoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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