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COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Fiji

COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Fiji

By fijivillage
Tuesday 20/04/2021
[Image: File Photo]

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says he is getting vaccinated because it is what we all must do to defeat this pandemic once and for all.


Next phase of COVID-19 vaccination campaign begins in Suva, Nadi and Lautoka

By Shanil Singh
Monday 03/05/2021

The next phase of the COVID-19 Vaccination drive has started in Nadi, Lautoka and Suva this morning.

People are being urged to come at Prince Charles Park in Nadi and Tilak High School in Lautoka till 6pm.

For those living in Suva, you can go to the Special Outpatients Department at the CWM Hospital and the Queen Victoria School Old Boys Club Hall in Brewster Road till 5pm today.

This is latest batch of the 24,000 doses which arrived in the country this month and is currently being administered to the targeted high-risk groups.

The high-risk groups include the remaining frontline workers and those providing essential services during the lockdown and Fiji’s vulnerable population.

The essential services include all vaccine eligible people who are part of the air and rescue services, air traffic control services, ports services, civil aviation, telecommunication services, food and sanitary manufacturing plants and services, electricity services, emergency services, fire services, health and hospital services, lighthouse services, meteorological services, mine pumping, ventilation and winding, supply and distribution of fuel and gas, power, telecommunications, garbage collection, transport services, water and sewage services, Fiji National Provident Fund, Fiji Revenue and Customs Services, civil service, private security services and road services.

The Ministry of Health is encouraging persons with disabilities and individuals with co-morbid issues such as diabetes, hypertension, heart conditions, asthma, HIV, cancer, patients undergoing renal dialysis and any other medical condition to come forward and get vaccinated.

They are working with the targeted high-risk groups to ensure that all COVID-19 safe measures are observed at the vaccination sites.

People are being advised to strictly comply with the COVID-19 safe measures to ensure no compromise of anyone’s safety when at the vaccination site.




Current commitments for the COVID-19 vaccine doses for the country can cover 484,000 Fijians – Dr Fong

We need to cover 650,000 people
By Vijay Narayan
Saturday 01/05/2021
AstraZeneca vaccine. [image: BBC]

Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says the current commitments for the COVID-19 vaccine doses for the country can cover 484,000 Fijians.

He says we need to cover 650,000 people.

Doctor Fong says they expect 64,800 of the 100,800 doses pledged by COVAX to arrive by June.

New Zealand has pledged half a million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Fiji.

We have received 100,000 doses from India and expect to receive the first shipment of 10,000 doses from Australia as early as next week, with other shipments arriving monthly.

The Permanent Secretary says they are grateful for the commitments they have received for vaccines so far, but they are not enough, nor are they coming soon enough, and the government is working with our international partners on new commitments

He says with an outbreak already upon us, the urgency of achieving widespread immunity grows daily.

Doctor Fong also stresses that no one in Fiji is fully vaccinated.

You need two doses of these vaccines to be fully vaccinated, and then need to wait an additional two weeks for its full response within your immune system to take effect.

He says only once every Fijian, who is eligible, achieves that level of immunity, will Fiji truly be safe from this deadly virus.

The Permanent Secretary says it is not easy to give up the normal activities of daily life and remain at home, but if we all make this effort, we can stop this virus once again and return to those normal activities--to go to work, see family and friends, do our shopping, play sports.

He stresses that no government can defeat this virus alone as it takes the effort of an entire nation to stop it in its tracks, and that means that every Fijian depends on every other Fijian to do their part in the lockdown zone, in the containment areas, and all across Fiji.

Doctor Fong says this is like a war, defeat is unthinkable, and compromise is impossible.

He says we have to win, and we will win but we will need everyone’s best effort.




NZ to provide AstraZeneca vaccines for 250,000 Fijians

By Naveel Krishant
Thursday 29/04/2021
[Image:bbc]

Fiji’s fight against COVID-19 has received a major boost as New Zealand has offered, and Fiji has accepted, AstraZeneca doses for 250,000 people from New Zealand’s domestic vaccine portfolio.

New Zealand Associate Minister of Health and Foreign Affairs Aupito William Sio and Fijian Health Minister Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete met virtually last week to discuss New Zealand’s offer, which also includes NZ$2 million of Official Development Assistance to support Fiji’s vaccine rollout.

The Ministers say New Zealand and Fiji are working together closely to support Fiji with access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines at the earliest opportunity.

Both Ministers stressed that there are still a number of steps to work through before the vaccines can be delivered.

The vaccine still has to be approved by Medsafe before it can be used in New Zealand and donated to Fiji.

Dr. Waqainabete says Fiji has chosen to roll-out AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine following earlier deliveries through the COVAX AMC and from India, and they are delighted New Zealand has been able to support us to continue our campaign

Sio says Fiji has worked hard to keep COVID-19 contained and New Zealand has been committed to supporting it in this.

He says New Zealand is working hard to make that happen as soon as possible with a target of delivery for the third quarter of this year.




We will be getting enough vaccines for everyone - Dr Fong

By Shanil Singh
Friday 23/04/2021
Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong.

The Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong says there are indications that they will be getting enough COVID-19 vaccines for everyone they want to vaccinate.

Dr Fong says they will be getting the vaccine in batches which will be rolled out for the rest of the year.

He has also confirmed that the Ministry could start the next phase of their vaccination campaign as early as next Wednesday. Another 24,000 AstraZeneca doses from the COVAX facility arrived in Fiji earlier this week.

Dr Fong says they wanted to start with the roll out this Saturday but that will be tough because of the amount of containment programs they are running.

Meanwhile the Head of Health Protection Dr Aalisha Sahukhan has also confirmed that there are studies ongoing around the world regarding vaccines for children and they are watching that carefully.

Dr Sahukhan says once the studies conclude, organizations such as the World Health Organization will look at the results and make a recommendation if children should be vaccinated or not.

She adds there are a number of vaccine trials going on for children and they are waiting for that.




Health Ministry to announce COVID-19 vaccine deployment plan soon

By Vijay Narayan, Iva Danford
Tuesday 20/04/2021
COVAX Facility is a global initiative aimed at making sure low and middle-income countries get access to the vaccines.

Another 24,000 AstraZeneca doses from the COVAX facility has arrived and the Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong says that they are looking at deploying the whole 24,000 vaccines soon.

Please stay listening to get details on the vaccination centres.

Dr Fong says another batch will also be arriving quickly and that is where they will be keeping the second dose of the 24,000.

COVAX Facility is a global initiative aimed at making sure low and middle-income countries get access to vaccines.

The European Union and its member states as well as the European Union Investment Bank are some of the lead contributors to the COVAX Facility.

 [images: Ministry of Health & Medical Services/Facebook]



More than 50,000 people vaccinated and all vaccination centres closed for now

24,000 more AstraZeneca doses from COVAX facility expected to arrive next week
By Iva Danford
Friday 16/04/2021

More than 50,000 people have been vaccinated and all vaccination centres are closed for now.

The Ministry of Health confirms the current vaccine supply has been exhausted.

They earlier announced that this phase of the campaign would end today depending on availability of vaccines.

They say the little remaining vaccine stock will be used for targeted vaccination activities.

Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong has also confirmed that some specific frontline groups and some of the vulnerable groups will be vaccinated with the remaining stock.

Doctor Fong has also stressed that their Outreach Teams will be visiting these specific groups of people as this is not a public campaign.

The Ministry says 12,354 people were vaccinated on Thursday.

Minister for Health Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete has also confirmed that everyone that got their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will surely be getting their second dose in the next 8 to 12 weeks as they have kept it aside.

Doctor Waqainabete says this is the way their vaccination program has been made and they will always follow it.

They say it is evident through this massive turnout that Fijians are once again committed to protecting themselves, their families and Fiji during this pandemic.

The Ministry has also announced that the second batch of vaccines through the COVAX facility is expected to arrive next week.

They say the next phase of the vaccine rollout will start soon after these 24,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are received.

The Ministry is also urging people if they have missed out on getting vaccinated this time, please stand by for the start of the next phase in the next 2 weeks.




Current COVID-19 vaccination campaign about to end soon as 50,000 target about to be reached – Dr Waqainabete

By Vijay Narayan
Friday 16/04/2021
Crowds today at the Vodafone Arena rushed to get their 1st jab of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Health Ministry is about to reach it’s target of vaccinating 50,000 people in the country to protect them against COVID-19 and the number of vaccination centres open today have been reduced compared to earlier this week.

Large crowds are turning up today at centres like Vodafone Arena to get the AstraZeneca jab, and it is getting clear that the demand for the vaccine in the country is now exceeding the limited number of doses available.

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Only one centre is open in Suva today while none are open in Nasinu, Nausori and Lami.

Some centres open in different parts of the country today only have the opening time and the closing time will depend on the availability of the number of doses as it may finish earlier than expected.

Health Minister, Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete says they are close to the 50,000 target and he assures those who miss out will be vaccinated in the next batch.

Doctor Waqainabete says the Health Ministry will ensure everyone above 18 years is vaccinated.

He has thanked all those who have come in to get vaccinated.

Another 90,000 doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive in the next few weeks. However there is no confirmation on the timeline at this stage.





People who got their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will surely be getting their second dose in the next 8 to 12 weeks – Dr Waqainabete

By Iva Danford
Thursday 15/04/2021
Minister for Health Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete.

Minister for Health Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete confirms that everyone that got their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will surely be getting their second dose in the next 8 to 12 weeks as they have kept it aside.

Doctor Waqainabete says this is the way their vaccination program has been made and they will always follow it.

He says they aim to finish off this phase of vaccination by Saturday where they will have 50,000 people vaccinated.

Doctor Waqainabete says now there is a lot more interest in vaccination and just looking at the photos of the number of people getting vaccinated will uplift spirits.

Waqainabete says this has also been uplifting for health care workers and the disciplined forces because they have been working hard behind the scenes.

He says more than 9,000 people were vaccinated yesterday alone.

The Minister says with the number of people that have been vaccinated now, more people have a fair idea of what side effects to expect after getting the first dose.

Waqainabete says the good news for us is that no one has needed extensive medical care because of the side effects. He says some of the people experienced fever, body pain and other symptoms which were expected.

He says they are very happy with the response and their planning continues for the next batch of vaccines.





27,705 Fijians vaccinated against COVID-19 so far

By Shanil Singh
Wednesday 14/04/2021

27,705 Fijians have received the first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine so far.

The Ministry of Health says 9,932 people were vaccinated yesterday alone.

The Ministry says based on the high uptake of vaccine by the public, the current phase of the vaccination campaign is expected to end by this Saturday.

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They say the target for this phase was to vaccinate 50,000 people.

People who have not registered for COVID-19 vaccination do not need to worry as they can get registered and vaccinated at the vaccination centre.

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You just need to turn up with your photo ID.

3

If you have already registered then you just need to show your reference number and get vaccinated.

The COVID-19 vaccination campaign is currently underway in the Southern, Northern, Western and Eastern Divisions.




Vaccination hesitation starting to ease off as we are getting a critical mass of people getting vaccinated – Dr Fong

By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 13/04/2021
Doctor Fong says they are now getting the willing people over 18 years to get vaccinated along with those in the vulnerable group.

Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong confirms that the COVID-19 vaccination hesitation is starting to ease off as we are getting a critical mass of people getting vaccinated.

With huge turnouts being recorded at the COVID-19 vaccination sites around the country from today, Doctor Fong says he can also confirm that the health officials are no longer being hassled by people based on religious lines.

He says this has changed after the meeting with the faith based organisations earlier this month.

Doctor James Fong says they are now getting the willing people over 18 years to get vaccinated along with those in the vulnerable group.

viber-image-2021-04-13-21-40-36

He says their deployment plan is changing according to the requirements of the situation.

Doctor Fong says they had an original deployment plan but the situation has changed based on the expiry date of the stocks and the arrival of more vaccine stocks soon under the COVAX facility.

viber-image-2021-04-13-21-40-24

Doctor Fong says huge turnouts are also being recorded as they are doing schedules for large groups. He confirms many civil servants from various ministries are also being vaccinated at the Vodafone Arena.

He also says people who have not registered for COVID-19 vaccination do not need to worry as they can get registered and vaccinated at the vaccination centre.

Doctor Fong says people just need to turn up with their photo ID.

People who have already registered just need to show their reference number and get vaccinated.





Huge turnouts recorded at the COVID-19 vaccination sites

Ministry steps up the vaccination drive
By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 13/04/2021
Vodafone Arena COVID-19 vaccination site.

Huge turnouts are being recorded at the COVID-19 vaccination sites around the country as the Health Ministry has stepped up the vaccination drive from today.

Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says they are now getting people over 18 years to get vaccinated along with those in the vulnerable group.

He says their deployment plan is changing according to the requirements of the situation.

Doctor Fong says they had an original deployment plan but the situation has changed based on the expiry date of the stocks and the arrival of more vaccine stocks soon under the COVAX facility.

Doctor Fong says huge turnouts are also being recorded as they are doing schedules for large groups.

He confirms many civil servants from various ministries are also being vaccinated at the Vodafone Arena.

He also says people who have not registered for COVID-19 vaccination do not need to worry as they can get registered and vaccinated at the vaccination centre.

Doctor Fong says people just need to turn up with their photo ID.

People who have already registered just need to show their reference number and get vaccinated.




PM and his wife, Mary receive first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

By Iva Danford
Thursday 08/04/2021
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his wife Mary get vaccinated[Image: Fijian Government]

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his wife, Mary have received their first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine today.

Bainimarama says these vaccines are more than a shot in the arm, they are an injection of hope.

He says being vaccinated is their duty to keep our loved ones safe and set Fiji on a path to recovery.

The Prime Minister says these vaccines are safe, effective and backed by the miracle of modern medicine.

Bainimarama says it is natural to have questions about your health, which is why the Health Ministry has set up a dedicated hotline 158 to take questions.

The Prime Minister says this is why he and Mary did not have to think twice.




4,000 Police officers to receive COVID-19 vaccine this week

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Tuesday 06/04/2021
4,000 members of the Fiji Police Force will be receiving their first jab of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

Around 4,000 members of the Fiji Police Force will be receiving their first jab of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine this week.

This includes staff in the Western, Central and Southern Divisions.

Members of the Fiji Police Force in the Northern Division and the Maritime areas will receive their jabs next week.

More than 300 members of the Force in the Central Division including the Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu, Chief Operations Officer ACP Abdul Khan and other senior officers received their first dose of the vaccine today.

The set of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines used today is part of the 100,000 doses which were produced in India and arrived in the country last month.

Another batch of the vaccine is also expected to arrive soon under the COVAX facility which is a global initiative aimed at making sure low and middle-income countries get access to the vaccines.





COVID-19 vaccines must be welcomed- Prasad

By Shanil Singh
Thursday 01/04/2021
President of the Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji, Sarju Prasad

The President of the Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji, Sarju Prasad says whatever helps cure certain ailments is not evil and the COVID-19 vaccine must be welcomed.

Speaking to fijivillage, Prasad says he has heard that some people are hesitant to take the vaccine but adds religion and science compliment each other and every medicine is prepared for the betterment of human beings.

He says people have been taking other types of vaccines in the past and this is no different.

Prasad adds they are in full support of the Ministry of Health who are trying their best to keep Fijians safe from the virus.




We need to get vaccinated as there is always a risk of breaches at the border – Dr Fong

Only 25,000 people registered for COVID vaccination
By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 01/04/2021
Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says the border closures are also affecting many people in the country, and we have to protect the people from COVID-19 by vaccinating them so that we can engage in the world.

Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says Fiji remains at risk of breaches at the border at any point in time and the danger of COVID-19 community cases is real.

Only 25,000 people have been registered for vaccination so far and Doctor Fong stresses that everyone should be encouraged to get vaccinated.

While speaking to the representatives of the faith based organisations, Doctor Fong says this is a difficult journey to navigate.

Doctor Fong says the border closures are also affecting many people in the country, and we have to protect the people from COVID-19 by vaccinating them so that we can engage in the world.

Doctor James Fong has also told the religious leaders and representatives that the COVID-19 vaccine cannot be evil and satanic.

He confirms they are currently struggling in trying to get people to register for the vaccination rollout.

Dr Fong says they have set up tents in strategic locations but they get the same hesitant remarks on the vaccine based on religion.

He has called on the religious leaders to assist in protecting the people of the country through vaccination and getting vaccinated is nothing new.




Getting vaccinated is what we all must do to defeat this pandemic once and for all – PM

By Naveel Krishant
Tuesday 30/03/2021
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama - [Photo: Fijian Government]

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says he is getting vaccinated because it is what we all must do to defeat this pandemic once and for all.

Bainimarama says these vaccines are part of the greatest achievement in modern medicine and every dose represents months of research, development and trials.

He says all that is required of us is a few minutes of our time, a few minutes to protect ourselves, to safeguard our loved ones and to set Fiji on the road to recovery.

Bainimarama says all that is required is a few minutes to reconnect families and friends separated by closed borders and a few minutes to help bring life fully back to what it was.


Fiji has received the first shipment of 100,000 AstraZeneca vaccines from India last night.

[images: Fijian Govt./Facebook]




PM encourages Fijians to get vaccinated

Another shipment of 90,000 COVID-19 vaccine headed to Fiji in the coming weeks – Bainimarama
By Naveel Krishant
Tuesday 30/03/2021
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says these vaccines are part of the greatest achievement in modern medicine.[image: Fijian Government]

The next batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that arrived last night will go immediately towards protecting the remainder of frontliners and it will also kick-start the second phase of our vaccine roll-out, which will include the more vulnerable segments of the population.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama highlighted this while receiving the first shipment of 100,000 doses of the vaccine from India.

Bainimarama says these vaccines are part of the greatest achievement in modern medicine.

He is also encouraging Fijians to get vaccinated and to register to receive the vaccine.

Bainimarama says many families are counting on the return of the industries they have dedicated their careers to adding we must protect ourselves alongside the rest of the world.

He further says we have another shipment of 90,000 doses headed to Fiji in the coming weeks, and they look forward to working with their development partners on a bilateral basis to secure the many more shipments of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.

Bainimarama also thanked India for their commitment to humanity and says he looks forward to thanking Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in-person once life starts looking a bit more normal than it does today and thinks they are overdue for another selfie.

These vaccines have been produced by the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India.




100,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine arrives

By Vijay Narayan
Monday 29/03/2021
Health Minister Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete. [image: file]

Good news as another 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in the country.

Health Minister, Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete confirms that Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama received the second batch from India.

Doctor Waqainabete says the 100,000 doses which were produced in India are being donated by the Indian Government.

It is being flown in by Fiji Airways.

Another batch of the vaccine is also expected to arrive soon under the COVAX facility.

Doctor Waqainabete says the COVID vaccination will accelerate now and it is good news for everyone. He encourages everyone over 18 years to register for the vaccine.




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