RUPENI Koroi Sigabalavu was the first infant in the Western Division to receive the newly introduced pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines yesterday, designed to reduce childhood deaths and hospitalisation.
The vaccines protect children from pneumonia and diarrhoea, said sub divisional Medical Officer for Lautoka and Yasawa, Doctor Abdul Shah.
"All babies born after September 17 this year will now receive these vaccines at six, 10 and 14 weeks along with the other immunisations that are normally provided," he said. The immunisation, an initiative of the Ministry of Health and AusAID, will see 22,000 babies immunised over the next four years.
The introduction of the new vaccines was announced by Health Ministry spokeswoman Dr Frances Bingwor in September this year.
In making the announcement, Dr Bingwor said the successful implementation of child health programs would move Fiji closer to achieving millennium development goal four, which was the reduction of child mortality rates by two thirds.