Call for mass shots

Nitish Chand (left) with other students of Sabeto Central School during the relaunch of the 'Fight the Bite' national clean-up campaign against dengue in Nadi yesterday. REPORT on Page 5 Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Nitish Chand (left) with other students of Sabeto Central School during the relaunch of the 'Fight the Bite' national clean-up campaign against dengue in Nadi yesterday. REPORT on Page 5 Picture: BALJEET SINGH

FORMER health minister Dr Neil Sharma says the Health Ministry should look at the mass vaccination of children after the outbreak of the meningococcal disease in the country on Tuesday.

“The ministry should look at stability of mass vaccination, otherwise we will lose more kids and they need to negotiate very quickly with the suppliers and work out how many kids in the country need the treatment,” Dr Sharma said.

He reiterated the advice by health officials for people to report to the nearest medical facility if they suspected that they were infected.

A random survey of pharmacies around the country yesterday revealed there was no vaccine against the meningococcal bacteria in stock and most pharmacies were in the process of ordering stock.

Abhay Nand of Superdrugs Pharmacy said he had placed orders to source the vaccines from Australia and New Zealand, which were expected to arrive next week.

The Health Ministry said this week that it was in consultation with stakeholders to source the vaccines as soon as possible because there was none in the country.

The cost of the vaccines in the pharmacies is expected to be between $160-$300.

Dr Sharma suggested the Ministry of Health should assist people with the vaccines.

“The people who need it most can’t afford it and the Ministry of Health needs to help these people,” Dr Sharma added.

“The community should be more alert as to what is actually happening.

“They don’t speak out until they are half dead, that’s when they complain about the ministry too.

“If you have a flu or coughing or sneezing you need to prevent all these infections, you need to go to your respective health centres and you need to be treated with antibiotics,” Dr Sharma said.

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