FULL STORY: 2 month old baby among the 2 new COVID-19 deaths bringing the total number of deaths in this third wave to 115

FULL STORY: 2 month old baby among the 2 new COVID-19 deaths bringing the total number of deaths in this third wave to 115

By Dhanjay Deo
Saturday 05/02/2022
Permanent Secretary for Health Dr. James Fong.

A 2-month-old baby from Northern Division has passed away due to COVID-19.

He died at home last Wednesday.

The Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong says a thorough investigation was carried out by the Ministry of Health and the Police Forensics Unit and the infantโ€™s death was classified as COVID-19 related.

The baby did not belong to the population age group for vaccination.

The second COVID-19 death is a 70-year old man from the Central Division, who died at home on Tuesday. He was fully vaccinated.

This brings the number of deaths in the third wave to 115.

Dr. Fong says the death of a 2 month old baby at home continues to remind us that severe rare outcomes become visible every time we allow the transmission to run rife among us.

He says as such, we cannot afford complacency in our vaccine plus endeavour and must do our best to protect the vulnerable by following COVID safe measures, getting fully vaccinated, and getting the booster dose when eligible.

Dr. Fong says the evidence internationally, including from the United Kingdom, is that a booster dose improves protection against symptomatic disease, which is reduced with infection with the omicron variant among the fully vaccinated and those previously infected with other variants. He adds studies are also showing that increased protection against symptomatic disease also decreases the risk of transmission to others, therefore, protecting the vulnerable.

Dr. Fong further says as we see a reducing trend in transmission, they anticipate the trends in deaths also to follow suit and therefore, expect the reduction in COVID restrictions to help improve further the social and economic recovery.

He adds while fully vaccinated people have died during this third wave, deaths in unvaccinated people in the vaccine eligible population are occurring at a massive 17 times the rate of the vaccinated.

Dr. Fong says this confirms what we already know from other countries, that vaccination reduces the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Fiji has recorded 123 new cases of COVID-19 of which 55 new cases were recorded on Thursday and 68 new cases in the last 24 hours ending at 8am yesterday morning. This figure does not include all the Rapid Antigen tests done at the private labs.


We continue to receive requests for vaccine exemption from persons with medical comorbidities โ€“ Dr Fong

By Dhanjay Deo
Saturday 05/02/2022
Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong.

The Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong says it is a grave concern that they continue to receive requests for vaccine exemption from persons with medical comorbidities, especially non-communicable diseases.

He says their medical condition is an indication for vaccination, and granting the exemption is not an option for any qualified medical person.

Dr Fong says they have noted how difficult it is to increase the vaccination coverage for the last 10% of the adult population despite the increased risk of severe outcomes in this group.

He says while they will continue to do their part to promote and deploy vaccines, they need community support to sustain the impact of their efforts especially to the vulnerable within this 10%.

Meanwhile, as of January 31st, 78,806 individuals have so far received booster doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

For the month of February, a further 175,558 people have become eligible for booster doses.

FULL STORY HERE






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