COVID-19 Fiji: 126,000-plus booster doses administered

A nurse administers a booster COVID dose to a member of the public in Suva. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FT FILE

Fiji’s Ministry of Health has administered COVID-19 booster doses to a total of 126,726 (29.5 per cent) individuals as of May 13 this year.

Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong said that represented 29.3 per cent of those eligible for a booster dose.

He said the booster dose interval for eligible persons had been reduced to three months from the second dose.

“This is in recognition of the risk of disease surge based on waning two doses COVID vaccine protection, slow booster uptake, increased international travel with the relaxation of border measures, and ongoing outbreaks in various parts of the world,” Dr Fong said last night.

He said the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were now both available for adult booster doses.

He urged eligible members of the public to get booster vaccine doses, and to refer to the list of vaccination sites provided daily on the MOH Faccebook page.

“We have accepted an offer of 50,000 doses of Pfizer paediatric doses for children aged 5 to 11 by the Aotearoa New Zealand government.

“Our vaccination team is currently discussing with counterparts in NZ on further details while our efforts to source more through our other development partners are ongoing.”

Meanwhile, Dr Fong said the school vaccination program had also been progressing such as that with the 95 per cent adult coverage rate, 90.6 per centof all persons over 12 years had had two  doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We will continue to monitor the evidence on post-infection immunity based on quality data generated globally.

“However, until we have a better sense of the role of post-infection immunity, the Ministry of Health will continue to define our level of protection based on vaccination numbers.

“Given the current stocks of Pfizer vaccines, we are now covering the primary doses for those yet to be vaccinated and for dose 2 if individuals were vaccinated with either Moderna or Astra Zeneca, while the 12-14-year-olds continue with the Pfizer vaccine.”

The new supplies of MODERNA are expected to be available in-country at the end of the month.

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