Save Mothers, Babies – Get Jab

Fiji Sun was reliably informed of two scenarios where husbands did not allow their partners to get vacci­nated, further putting undue strain and risk on them and their families.
21 Jul 2021 13:40
 Save Mothers, Babies – Get Jab

Fijians who have been stopped from receiving the COV­ID-19 vaccination against their will should alert the Fiji Police Force and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services immediately.

Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete made the statement yesterday following reports of in­stances where women were prohib­ited by their husbands to get vacci­nated.

With today’s commencement of the Moderna Vaccination Programme for pregnant women in high risk areas, Dr Waqainabete hopes people will make informed decisions to pro­tect the life of unborn babies.

Due to the increasing widespread of COVID-19 across Viti Levu, preg­nant women are at a higher risk of contracting the virus which may cause severe illness.

Fiji Sun was reliably informed of two scenarios where husbands did not allow their partners to get vacci­nated, further putting undue strain and risk on them and their families.

It is understood that in recent days at least two pregnant mothers who had tested positive for COVID-19 have lost their lives af­ter undergoing emergency C-sections.

However, whether they died of COVID-19 or not is yet to be ascertained by the Ministry.

Dr Waqainabete said anyone above the age of 18 has the right to make their own decision and women who believe in the vaccine should get vaccinated.

“If anyone wants to stop them from doing so then they are more than welcome to let the po­lice know and let us know. At the end of the day everybody has a right to life and no one can take that right to life away,” he said.

Right To Life

Director for Human Rights and Anti-Dis­crimination Commission Ashwin Raj is com­mending Government for securing vaccina­tion for pregnant women.

“Pregnant women, in the context of this pan­demic, face vulnerability and marginalization on two grounds: the absence of a vaccine safe and suitable for their condition and the right to bodily autonomy and integrity and the abil­ity to make an informed decision about their health and their bodies because of prevailing patriarchal prejudices,” Mr Raj said.

“Fiji is indeed one of the privileged coun­tries to have secured this vaccine and we must not allow discrimination on prohibited grounds such as gender, ethnicity, religious or sexual orientation from dissuading women from making an informed decision to get vac­cinated.

“We must not allow men and their pride to override the right to life and health of our mothers, sisters, and daughters.

“This is why awareness campaigns currently underway needs to be intensified and sus­tained for the duration of the vaccination pro­cess to allow members of the public to make an informed choice.

“We must continue to create a safe and an enabling space that empowers women to re­port without fear if they have been deprived of their right to access the vaccine by their families, religious or community leaders.”


Due to the shorter interval period of 28 days between the Moderna vaccine doses, the min­istry is making it a priority for pregnant wom­en to receive the vaccine as it provides earlier protection against COVID-19.

For vaccination, pregnant women must pro­vide their antenatal care clinic card as evi­dence of pregnancy and booking.

Pregnant women living outside Viti Levu are advised to continue receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine will also be admin­istered to Fijians living within the Suva-Nausori corridor and are above the age of 60, particularly those with comorbidities such as chronic lung disease, significant cardiac dis­ease, severe obesity, diabetes, liver disease and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infec­tion.



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