This post originally appeared on the International Vaccine Institute’s website on July 28.
“A vaccination campaign requires a lot of manpower and resources, not only from the health personnel but from the communities as well,” says Dr. Alumita Vuakanisakea. She is the in-country Project Lead of the Typhoid in Fiji – Vaccination towards Elimination (Ty-FIVE) project.
On July 4, 2023, the Ty-FIVE consortium including the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) launched a mass vaccination campaign using typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) with the aim of reaching everyone ages 9 months to 65 years in Fiji’s Northern Division—a region that encompasses the country’s second largest island, Vanua Levu, in addition to smaller surrounding islands.
The goal is to reach at least 80% vaccination coverage in an effort to completely eliminate typhoid in the Northern Division, which records reoccurring outbreaks of the disease. The campaign is using a single dose of Vi-TT TCV (brand name Typbar TCV ®, manufactured by Bharat Biotech), which has been prequalified by the World Health Organization for the campaign’s target age group.
For the first week of the 8-week campaign, the Ty-FIVE team accompanied MHMS public health workers traveling across Vanua Levu to set up temporary vaccination sites. From a primary school to hospitals, villages, and more rural settlements, we spoke with health workers, community leaders and members, and government officials to hear what they think about the campaign. Here’s what they shared with us.
Cover photo: A team of public health workers set up a vaccination site in the Daroko settlement of Vunivesi in Cakaudrove during the Northern Division’s typhoid conjugate vaccine campaign. Credit: IVI/Navneel Kumar