Ministry constantly reviewing, updating healthcare protocols

Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong. Picture: FILE/ JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong said the ministry was reviewing and updating its healthcare protocols to ensure an effective response for future outbreaks.

He said there would always be people vulnerable to the virus despite our high vaccination coverage.

“We have one-third of the population under 18 years old, most of whom still need to be vaccinated,” he said.

Dr Fong said there were older people with comorbidities whose ability to build up vaccine immunity was not as good as younger and healthier persons.

“Also of concern is that we will have unvaccinated people in our communities who are also not exposed to the virus, and hence do not have any protection against the disease, and among them are elderly persons and those with serious comorbidities.

“As such, future resurgence of infections and increased case numbers will again test our critical care capacities.

“We are constantly reviewing and updating our healthcare protocols so we can respond effectively to future outbreaks.”

Dr Fong said the key to avoiding future restrictions and lockdowns was for the public to remain cautious about how they engaged in the greater freedom they would enjoy.

“The potential for transmission in any community will be slower, and the ability to contain the outbreak better, when we achieve a high vaccination rate and also maintain strict adherence to COVID safe measures.

“When we do this, we not only protect ourselves but also protect all those around us, especially the vulnerable, those not eligible for vaccination, and those who are not yet vaccinated.”

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