Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong stresses that to date, none of the reported cases of serious adverse events following immunization has been assessed to be COVID-19 vaccine-related.
An adverse event following immunization includes any unexpected medical event that any individual may experience following vaccination, which may or may not be related to the vaccine.
Doctor Fong says they have in place an investigation system comprising an officer in Fiji and international panels that are responsible for receiving and investigating reported events.
He adds for milder cases, the officer also facilitates follow-up via multiple means - phone calls, Viber, Messenger or emails.
Doctor Fong further says events requiring admission in the hospital and close follow-up is done with the medical teams in the hospital are assessed by the Fiji panel, who then document case details and verify important information before they are discussed with the international panel.
He adds fatal events may be assessed by post mortem.
Doctor Fong says for COVID positive cases where a post mortem was not possible, the health team conducts a verbal autopsy process to confirm the cause of death.
He adds a total of 64 adverse events following immunization was reported of which 55 are non-serious cases and 9 met the criteria of the serious case.
Serious cases require hospital admission and reports of deaths post-vaccination.
Doctor Fong revealed that analysis showed that 47 adverse events following immunization were reported from the medical bay at the vaccination sites while the most common side effects reported were fever, body pain and hives.
A total of 62 cases have been completely investigated while 2 cases are still under investigation.
He says of these investigated cases 61 were adult cases and 1 child.
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