The Health Ministry today received a boost to their COVID-19 vaccine campaign after UNICEF, through the USAID, donated 17,280 Pfizer vaccines.
While receiving the vaccines, Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong says these vaccines are not just doses of hope, but they are a significant addition to their routine immunization program.
He says the Pfizer conjugated vaccines represent a more advanced vaccine that protects against the Omicron variant, which itself has posed challenges to them.
Dr. Fong says the vaccine provides an additional layer of defence, particularly the vulnerable groups, including the elderlies and individuals with pre-existing conditions.
He adds it may seem that COVID-19 is a distant memory, however, people might remember the devastating impact it had on the country.
Dr Fong says COVID-19 may have become less conspicuous in our daily lives, however, it has not disappeared.
He says they are currently witnessing a resurgence in cases in several countries, and it's a stark reminder that the virus is still with us.
The Permanent Secretary is urging every Fijian to get their booster shots to ensure that they and their loved ones are protected from the deadly virus.
US Embassy Chargé d'Affaires John Degory says Fiji and its people have demonstrated strength, resilience and unfailing dedication during the COVID-19 period in supporting every community.
He says although the COVID-19 pandemic has officially been declared over as a public health emergency, we know that the virus is still with us and continues to threaten the health of people across the globe and we know the best way to save lives is through the vaccines.
Degory says these vaccine donations expand on the US Government's previous vaccine donations through the COVAX facility of 183,680 life-saving doses.
He adds that this latest delivery will directly support booster vaccination efforts in the country.
The US Chargé d'Affaires also highlighted that the US Government is committed to strengthening regional resilience to the next emerging disease threat, and through its news global health security program, they will invest $5 million in its first year to strengthen pandemic preparedness and response in Fiji and other countries in the region.
Dr Fong and five other representatives from UNICEF and the Health Ministry each received their shot of the new vaccines.
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