COVID-19: Markets shut Fiji from buying vaccines and ventilators – PRUN

Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Ambassador Satyendra Prasad. Picture: SUPPLIED/FT FILE

Fiji was ready to purchase COVID-19 vaccines and ventilators but was shut out from the markets and unable to gain access to them, says Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York Ambassador Satyendra Prasad.

He made the comment during a virtual briefing with UN resident coordinator Sanaka Samarasinha.

However, Ambassador Prasad said eventually vaccines and ventilators were made available through the UN system.

“In terms of accessing vaccines we were shut out from the markets even when we could buy vaccines they were not made available to us, even when we could purchase ventilators they were not made available to us,” he said.

“But through the UN system, through the COVAX facility, we were able to get through the first supply of vaccines in which the frontlines of health care workers were vaccinated and that allowed us to build an initial sort of frontline defence against COVID.”

Ambassador Prasad said the supply of vaccines through COVAX was now flowing well.

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