The Ministry of Health would like to emphasise that current measles vaccine stocks are not unlimited and should be used for our most vulnerable groups who are most likely to catch and spread the disease.
The vaccine is currently limited to four groups who are at most risk of contracting measles, and these are;
1. Any child in Fiji who has not received two doses of measles vaccine. If you’re unsure visit your nearest health centre with your child’s health record for it to be checked by a health care worker. They will be immunised on the spot if needed;
2. Anyone who resides in Serua/Namosi and is over 6 months of age is urgently advised to receive a dose of the measles vaccine regardless of prior vaccination status if they have not done so already;
3. Anyone who intends to travel into Serua/Namosi is urged to get vaccinated at least 2 weeks before travel. The vaccine is available from any health centre in Fiji;
4. Anyone who intends to travel overseas and is more than six months of age is advised to get vaccinated prior to travelling from their nearest health centre.
The only exceptions to those in this group are pregnant women, those with compromised immune systems, and those with a known allergy to the vaccine. These people should not be vaccinated.
The ministry’s main priority is to protect those at the highest risk first.
It is also pleased to see the positive support from the public in their proactive efforts to contain the outbreak in the Serua/Namosi provinces by taking part in the immunisation programme and reporting symptoms. The measles outbreak is still confined to the Serua/Namosi Subdivision, and specifically the Wailali Settlement in Wainadoi.
Since the last update, there have been zero confirmed new cases of measles from Serua/Namosi or anywhere else in the country. There are currently four confirmed cases – all from the Wailali Settlement in Wainadoi.
The measles taskforce is constantly reviewing the situation and will make recommendations to vaccinate other groups as necessary.
The task force consists of experts from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and international experts – including personnel from the World Health Organisation (WHO).