Calls being made to vaccinate our children with urgency against COVID-19 as the threat is increasing

Calls being made to vaccinate our children with urgency against COVID-19 as the threat is increasing

By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 21/06/2022
Dialogue Fiji Executive Director Nilesh Lal and Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong.

Calls are being made to vaccinate our children with urgency against COVID-19 as the threat is increasing with new cases emerging in the community.

While Dialogue Fiji Executive Director, Nilesh Lal has welcomed the announcement by the Health Ministry that children between the age of 5 to 11 years old are expected to receive the paediatric doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from next Saturday, he says the government needs to act with greater urgency and resolve to vaccinate all our eligible children.

Lal says schools have been seen to be hubs for the spread of infectious diseases, and strict protocols of masking and other measures are no longer being adhered to in schools.

He says there is a huge risk as the children from 5 to 11 years are yet to be vaccinated.

Lal says countries such as Australia and New Zealand have vaccinated most of their children in this category.

He also asks what is the target population for children, and whether the ministry has secured more than 50,000 doses.

Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says the vaccinations will be carried out as part of the school vaccination program.

He will make further comments later.

Out of the 163 COVID-19 deaths reported in the third wave in Fiji, 6 deaths were in the population not eligible for vaccination.

There were 8 deaths below the age of 19 years, 7 out of the 8 children had significant pre-existing medical conditions, and one child had no known underlying medical condition.

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