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Get The Jab And Protect Your Family: Samarasinha

'The vaccine is important for this country, the health of its citizens and the health of the economy.’
14 Apr 2021 12:05
Get The Jab And Protect Your Family: Samarasinha
From left: Student Nurse Talei Beckmann, United Nations Resident Coordinator for Fiji and the Pacific Sanaka Samarasinha, Staff Nurse Aqela Matai and staff nurse Ilaitia Camadrokadroka during the COVID-19 vaccination drive at the Vodafone Arena in Suva on April 13, 2021. Photo: Inoke Rabonu

Get the COVID-19 jab and protect your family, community and the nation, urged Sanaka Samarasinha.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator for Fiji and the Pacific made the statement while receiving his first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine at the Vodafone Arena in Suva yesterday.

Mr Samarasinha and officials from the United Nations including UNICEF Representative to Fiji and the Pacific Sheldon Yett received their first dose.

Also there were Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde, Permanent Secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister Yogesh Karan and Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission director, Ashwin Raj.

“The vaccine is important for this country, the health of its citizens and the health of the economy,” Mr Samarasinha said.

“We need to get as many people vaccinated so that we can get the borders opening and people get back to work so that they can feed their families,” he said.

“Clearly when you have vast majority of people, 70 or 75 per cent of Fiji’s population vaccinated then that makes a much stronger case for Fiji to be able to say confidently that we should open borders to other countries.”

Next batch of vaccines from COVAX facility

Mr Samarasinha said the next batch of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility is likely to arrive into the country by the end of May.

“As you all understand these are shifting goal posts because of the production issues that not only AstraZeneca producers are facing but other vaccine producers too are facing,” he said.

“Definitely hoping that by the end of May we will see the rollout of some of the rest of the vaccines and that will continue in batches for the rest of the year.

“There were some issues in the movement of vaccines and also issues in the production line but we are confident that in the coming weeks and months, we will be able to get the vaccines that are needed for Fiji and Fijians.”

From left: Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission director, Ashwin Raj and the Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde during the COVID-19 vaccination drive at the Vodafone Arena in Suva on April 13, 2021.

From left: Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission director, Ashwin Raj and the Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde during the COVID-19 vaccination drive at the Vodafone Arena in Suva on April 13, 2021.

Vaccine risks

Mr Samarasinha said it was important that authorities were completely transparent about the risks that any vaccine would carry.

The risk of rare blood clots he said were minimal and it could be treated if properly monitored.

He added that the clotting frequency equates to four per million people.

“I am confident with measures that the ministry has in place for the preparation for anyone who might have an adverse reaction,” he said.

“When we open the borders there will be risks of community transmission and that’s why we need to protect our family.”

Head of Fiji’s COVID-19 vaccination taskforce Dr Rachel Devi confirmed that as of yesterday, the Ministry of Health surpassed 50,000 registrations and more than 20,000 have been vaccinated.

Edited by Selita Rabuku

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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