The Fiji government has warned that unvaccinated people in the vaccine-eligible population are 17 times more likely to die if they contract covid-19 than those that are vaccinated.
Health Secretary Dr James Fong said this strongly indicated that many of the unvaccinated deaths were preventable.
He is urging Fijians to get vaccinated against covid-19, including the booster shot, amid a third wave which began last November.
“I strongly urge anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated to get vaccinated now because covid-19 is here to stay, and omicron will not be the last variant,” Dr Fong said.
“And if you are vaccinated, but know someone who isn’t, please also encourage them to protect themselves by getting vaccinated.”
The vaccine rollout for children aged 12 to 17 is also underway, with 43,241 of them already having had both doses.
Meanwhile, Fijians who are unvaccinated against covid-19 are still being refused entry to a number of public spaces.
Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said this included houses of worship, sporting venues and high-risk businesses.
“Those who are in charge of these venues, businesses and houses of worship must ensure that they check the vaccine status of all those who enter their premises,” Dr Waqainabete said.
As of 18 February 2022, 93.1 percent of Fiji’s adult population of 844,000 were fully vaccinated against covid-19.
More than 800 deaths attributable to covid-19 have been recorded in Fiji.
This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.