- 9 confirmed cases of measles from Serua/Namosi Subdivision
- latest confirmed cases are a 15 year old from Wainadoi, and a 2-year-old who had been staying in Waibogi Serua
- Limited supply of Measles vaccine
The Health Ministry is currently dealing with vaccine shortage as measles cases continue to rise.
Since the last update on 19 November 2019, there are now 9 confirmed cases of measles from Serua/Namosi Subdivision. The latest confirmed cases are a 15 year old from Wainadoi, and a 2-year-old who had been staying in Waibogi Serua. The 2-year-old returned home to Koronivia on 18 November and is currently admitted under isolation at the CWM Hospital in Suva after presenting to Nakasi Health Centre on November 19th. The respective outbreak response teams are responding to the notification of the new cases, which includes vaccination and quarantine of contacts if needed.
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is urging employers to provide their support to the control of this outbreak by not penalizing employees that are placed under quarantine and subsequently are unable to work. Quarantine is needed to protect others from getting the disease, and employees must be allowed to comply with quarantine without fear for the loss of income or employment. Those under quarantine will be provided with the appropriate medical certification for the quarantine period.
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services would also like to acknowledge the response of the public in presenting to our health facilities for the measles vaccine and we recognize the dedication of the doctors, nurses, environmental health officers, and others who have been working hard to contain the outbreak in Serua/Namosi.
As mentioned in the past, the measles vaccine is in limited supply and therefore the Ministry of Health and Medical Services would like to inform the public that there is an interim shortage of the measles vaccine. For this reason, the remaining measles vaccine stock will be prioritised to those who are at the greatest risk of catching and spreading measles and it is not available for the general public until additional stocks arrive in the coming days.
Current stocks are being reserved for the following high-risk target groups:
1. The residents of Serua/Namosi
2. Children from the ages of 6 months to 3 years
3. People travelling overseas, however proof of travel must be shown i.e. ticket/travel itinerary, not just a passport
The routine immunisation of children at 12 and 18 months of age will continue as per the national immunisation schedule.
The only exceptions to those in the above groups are pregnant women, those with compromised immune systems, and those with a known allergy to the vaccine. These people should not be vaccinated