Vaccine hesitancy – Over 60s not coming forward for shot, says Dr Devi

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Dr Rachel Devi (third from left) and Tony Greubel (US Embassy Charge d’Affaires) receive the Moderna vaccines which arrived in the country. Picture: US EMBASSY

Fijians above the age of 60 have not been coming forward to get their  COVID-19 shots, says head of Fiji’s COVID-19 vaccine taskforce Dr Rachel Devi.

She said they had targeted frontliners, elderly and the most vulnerable to get the AstraZeneca jab when the first batch of vaccines arrived in the country.

However, she said the continuous deaths to the virus in the above 60s was representative of the fact many were unvaccinated.

“We said from the very beginning that we would vaccinate frontliners and then the elderly but just looking at the number of deaths that we are seeing and those who are not vaccinated, it seems that maybe they haven’t been forthcoming for vaccination,” she said.

“I don’t know why, maybe families are not bringing them or are unable to bring them despite us also doing home visitations.”

Dr Devi said with the Health Ministry preparing to administer the Moderna vaccine to pregnant women and the remaining unvaccinated vulnerable groups across Viti Levu from tomorrow, people should come forward.

“So that’s the opportunity which we are giving to the 60 and above. If you haven’t taken the vaccine please do so by getting that Moderna vaccine.”

As of July 17, 393,095 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine and 78,624 have received their second dose.