‘Vaccinate adults as priority’ – Expert: People aged 20-39 infectious

Nurse Vikashni Chand vaccinates fellow nurse Shimal Sandhiya with the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine at the Nadi International Airport. Picture: NAVNESH REDDY

People aged 20 to 39 should be prioritised on the need-to-vaccinate list because they are “the ones who mostly infect everybody”.

This was the view expressed by Professor Fiona Russell, an epidemiologist, translation researcher and member of the World Health Organization pneumococcal conjugate vaccine expert advisory group.

She made the comment in a virtual ‘Explain the Science’ discussion hosted by the Fiji National University recently.

“The most important thing is to get the adults vaccinated,” she said.

“Because people who are aged 20 to 39 are the ones that mostly infect everybody.”

Prof Russell said it was equally important to get the elderly and healthcare workers vaccinated as well.

She said vaccines were not recommended for those under the age of 18 and Fiji would have to wait for what more developed countries such as the United Kingdom were doing.

“So, you know, there are other vaccines that are now getting licensed for under that age group but to be honest, I think we just have to wait and that’s what the UK is doing as to whether children actually do need to be vaccinated. The UK aren’t rushing in to do that.”

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