Suva, Fiji Islands, 15 July 2022 - Fiji has received 9,600 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines from the French Government through the COVAX Facility – a partnership co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization (WHO), with UNICEF as the key delivery partner.
“Our successful response to the COVID-19 global pandemic has been well supported with the donations and actions of our bilateral and multi-lateral development partners, including the French Government and its territories, who have stood by us and assisted us with timely donations of vaccines, personal protective equipment, medical equipment, technical expertise and logistical support,” said the Hon. Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete.
These vaccines were handed over to the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services in an official ceremony today held at the Fiji Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Services Centre. In attendance at the handover ceremony were the Hon. Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete, the French Ambassador to Fiji, H.E. Mr. François-Xavier Léger, UNICEF Pacific’s Representative, A.I. Roshni Basu, and the Acting WHO Representative to the South Pacific, Dr. Nuha Mahmoud.
“The French government has made the sharing of COVID-19 vaccines one of its priorities, out of solidarity with the countries hit by the pandemic, and with the aim of helping to accelerate global vaccination coverage,” said the French Ambassador to Fiji, H.E. Mr. François-Xavier Léger. “In April 2021, France was the first country to share vaccine doses under the COVAX mechanism and has since committed to donating 120 million doses by mid-2022.”
This latest donation will contribute towards vaccinating children aged between 15 to 17 years, as well as support with the second dose for pregnant mothers who had already received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine.
“These Moderna vaccines already come frozen, stored at -25C to -15C temperature which means they have a longer shelf life. UNICEF, together with our partners, is proud to be supporting the Ministry of Health and Medical Services in not only accessing lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines but upgrading the cold chain storage for these vaccines as well,” said UNICEF Pacific’s Representative, A.I. Roshni Basu. “UNICEF appreciates the support that the French Government is providing to continue the availability of vaccines to keep children and communities safe and protected.”
COVAX is the vaccine pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. The ACT Accelerator is a ground-breaking global collaboration to boost the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access to every country in the world.
“The COVAX mechanism is an expression of global solidarity, enabling equitable access to life-saving COVID-19 vaccines for people around the world. WHO is therefore thankful to the French Government for this contribution to the vaccination effort here in Fiji as well as their ongoing support for COVAX globally,” said the Acting WHO Representative to the South Pacific, Dr. Nuha Mahmoud.
The French Government, UNICEF and WHO express their gratitude to the Government of Fiji, through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, for its vision and leadership that is vital to the successful deployment of these vaccines in the country.
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