Fiji + 2 more

Australia, New Zealand and UNICEF’s COVID-19 Vaccine Support to Fiji

Suva, Fiji, 01 February 2022 - Fiji’s fight against COVID-19 will be given a boost following the arrival of more than half a million Pfizer vaccines over the next three months.

Australia will provide over 530,000 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to Fiji through a partnership with UNICEF and New Zealand to procure vaccines for partner countries in the Pacific by the end of 2022.

“The Ministry of Health and Medical Services acknowledges the continuous support of the Australian and New Zealand Governments, and UNICEF in securing the health of all Fijians in this pandemic,” said the Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr. James Fong.

“Protecting children and adults from infection and severe disease is a key part of our strategy to facilitate socioeconomic recovery. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is grateful that these vaccines will be dedicated to the children aged 12 years and above. Additionally, these vaccines will be rolled out as part of Fiji’s COVID-19 booster program,” the Permanent Secretary added.

“This delivery of Pfizer will bring the total number of Australian-supplied vaccines to Fiji to over 1.6 million doses to support the country’s world-class vaccine rollout,” said Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes.

“Australia was also pleased to work with the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services and UNICEF to upgrade Fiji’s cold chain storage to support the rollout of Pfizer vaccines,” he continued. This is the first delivery to the Pacific under Australia’s partnership with UNICEF, and an important part of Australia's broader commitment to share 60 million doses with Indo-Pacific neighbours, also by the year’s end.

“We thank the Governments of Australia and New Zealand for supporting our joint efforts with the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services in protecting communities, especially children, from the ongoing threats posed by COVID-19 in Fiji,” said UNICEF Pacific Representative, Jonathan Veitch. “These Pfizer vaccines will protect thousands of Fijian children against severe symptomatic illness from the virus.”

“Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to assisting Fiji’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, having already donated Pfizer for 12–14-year-olds, and 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca. This latest donation through the partnership is a further demonstration of our support to lifting vaccination rates and building COVID-19 resilience in Fiji,” said New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji, Charlotte Darlow.

Like Australia, Fiji is dealing with one of its most profound health and economic crises. Australia and Fiji will continue working together to save lives, advance economic recovery, and build strong and resilient health systems to aid recovery from COVID-19 and protect against future pandemics.

Notes to Editors:

About the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services:

The Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services remains firmly committed to maintain a high standard of efficient, equitable, accessible and affordable health care service delivery to all Fijians through maintaining the Universal Health Coverage by leaving no one behind.

About the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade:

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) promotes and protects Australia’s international interests to support our security and prosperity.

About the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade:

The Ministry acts in the world to build a safer, more prosperous and more sustainable future for New Zealanders.

For more information, please contact:

Riaz Hassan, Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Tel: +679 9775168, mohammed.hassan@govnet.gov.fj

Erica Lee, Australian High Commission Public Affairs Manager, Tel: +679 7071258, Erica.Lee@dfat.gov.au

Monika Mala, New Zealand High Commission Suva, Tel: +679 7790805, Monika.Mala@mfat.net

Zubnah Khan, UNICEF Pacific, Tel: +679 9988137, zukhan@unicef.org