The Ministry of Health & Medical Services has introduced the Inactivated Polio Vaccine
(IPV) into the routine immunization program in Fiji to protect young children from Polio, a
potentially fatal infectious disease.
Through this, the Fiji Government joins the world in eradicating the Polio virus and ensuring
that children live in a world free of paralysis due to polioviruses.
Poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause crippling paralysis, sometimes in a
matter of hours, and the best way to prevent it is by immunizing every child.
While launching the program, the Hon. Minister for Health & Medical Services Mr Jone
Usamate said that although the last clinically confirmed case of polio was in 1962, the health
system has been doing fairly well in the immunization of children which now stands at 95%.
“Fiji has been using oral polio vaccine in the routine immunization since around 1963. At
present four doses of oral vaccine are being given to infants at 6, 10, 14 weeks and the fourth
dose at 18 months”, said Mr Usamate.
He further added that the Fiji Government remains committed to providing the highest
quality of health services to the people of Fiji.
Mr Usamate also acknowledged the support from the technical and donor partners such as
WHO, UNICEF and the Australian Government for continuously supporting the
immunization program in Fiji.
The World Health Organization designed a new strategy in 2012 to eradicate polio
worldwide, and the declining number of cases indicates that the “polio endgame” strategy
might be achieved in the not too distant future.