COVID-19: PM – Need more Fijians to step up; notes high US elderly vax coverage

Fijian PM Voreqe Bainimarama delivers his statement at the press conference in Suva yesterday - Thursday, July 22 (2021), held for the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines provided by the US government. Picture: US EMBASSY SUVA/FACEBOOK

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says older people everywhere know they are particularly vulnerable to this COVID-19 virus so they make no fuss when making the decision to be vaccinated.

And he made reference to adult vaccination in the United States of America (USA), noting that about  59.5 per cent of adults have been fully vaccinated and 68 per cent have received one dose; and a much higher coverage among people 65 years of age and over – 89 per cent have received one dose and 79 per cent are fully vaccinated.

“To put it bluntly, they know they could die, and they would rather stay alive. So they don’t fuss about what some self-proclaimed expert might post on Facebook. They can’t afford to,” Mr Bainimarama said.

In his opening statement at a press conference in the capital city Suva yesterday, held for the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines provided by the US government, the PM said just like in Fiji, some areas of the US had higher vaccination rates, while other areas were experiencing resistance, and their vaccination rates were low.

“In areas of the US where the vaccination rates are high, life has largely returned to normal,” he said.

“People have been able to remove their masks, open their workplaces, go to restaurants and sporting events and take vacations.

“But there are some places where vaccination rates are low because people are resisting the vaccine. And in those places, the Delta Variant of the virus is spreading with a vengeance.”

Mr Bainimarama said most Fijians were doing their part, “but we need more Fijians to step up”.

“I would like to see all Fijians get the jab.”

The Fijian PM yesterday received more than 150,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from the US government.

He thanked US President Joe Biden for making this important vaccine available to Fijians through the COVAX program; and is a part of the 80 million doses the US has donated for distribution worldwide.

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