More doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, AstraZeneca are on their way to Fiji as the Australian government has committed to giving 1 million vaccines while the New Zealand government will give half a million vaccines.
Health Minister, Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete had earlier stated that Fiji is targeting to get 1.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as they aim to vaccinate 600,000 people in the country.
During a meeting with Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison committed to providing 1 million vaccines and Australia will provide the delivery timetable to Fiji in the next couple of weeks.
Bainimarama has conveyed his appreciation to Morrison for Australia’s unprecedented commitment and support to Fiji's response and recovery from COVID-19.
Australia has also supported Fiji through direct budget support totalling AUD 35 million (approximately FJD55 million).
The Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes says with the combined AstraZeneca vaccines donated by Australia and New Zealand, it will be able to cover the entire eligible population in Fiji.
Feakes says the officials in Canberra are working on the details of delivery.
Fiji received 10,000 doses of Australian-manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine last week and another 10,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from Australia arrived on Friday.
Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says the vaccines from New Zealand are expected to arrive in the third quarter of this year.
Australia has already started sending 10,000 doses a month.
The Ministry of Health says given the COVID-19 status quo and the need to take extreme caution against the rapidly spreading COVID-19 disease, a strategic vaccination roll-out plan is being formulated for Viti Levu.
They say the COVID-19 vaccination drive for the target population has concluded in Taveuni, Savusavu and Macuata in Vanua Levu.
The Health Ministry will advise the public as more vaccines are rolled-out around the country and will make necessary announcements once it is safe to do so.
They say for now, the public is urged to follow all national COVID-19 safe protocols that are in place to control the outbreak.
At this stage the Ministry of Health’s priority is to vaccinate the high risk population which include the frontline workers, persons with disability, people over 60 years of age and people with comorbidity issues as they are easily susceptible to the disease.
The Ministry of Health reassures all vaccine eligible individuals that they will be vaccinated in due course of time. Fiji will continue to receive the COVID-19 vaccines in batches similar to the other countries.
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