Men-C program on hold

Staff nurse Merewalesi Baba, right, with the assistance of staff nurse Joana Lavoa inject Jamie Magdelene, 9, with meningococcal disease vaccination during the launch of the meningococcal disease - nationwide immunization campaign for children aged 1-19 years at the Ministry of Health headquarters in Toorak, Suva on Friday, May 11, 2018. Picture: FILE/ JONACANI LALAKOBAU

MENINGOCOCCAL (Men-C) disease vaccination programs for the Western Division are on hold, pending the arrival of the second shipment from abroad, says Assistant Health and Medical Services Minister Alex O’Connor.

He said vaccinations in Ra district had been completed and the remaining programs would be carried out in schools and medical centres throughout the region.

“We started the vaccination program in the Ra district and Central Division and that has been completed,” he said.

“The National Men-C immunisation program aims to immunise all children and teenagers in Fiji aged between 1 and 19 years of age. “The Men-C vaccine is free to young people and is being administered at schools, kindergartens, health centres and nursing stations across Fiji.

“The next phase of the Men-C immunisation program is expected to be in other divisions (Western, Eastern and Northern) in the coming weeks as the ministry works closely with UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) on the shipment of the next batch of vaccines.

“The mass immunisation of Fijian youths will help protect the broader community as it has been shown to significantly prevent the ongoing transmission of bacteria within a population.

“Young persons are at high risk because of their habits as sharing water bottles, eating utensils or other items that may contain saliva and so it is important that you are aware as to how this disease is spread and how you can prevent its spread at school or at home.”

According to the ministry, five people have died from Men-C this year

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