- In his New Year message, Dr Mumba said government should not take the Covid-19 vaccine until local labs and researchers certify that they were fit Zambians.
By SIMON MUNTEMBA
NEVERS Mumba should stop misleading the public on matters surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine which he does not fully understand, the Ministry of Health has said.
In an interview yesterday, Ministry of Health spokesperson Abel Kabalo advised Dr Mumba not to cause unnecessary panic among Zambians over the bringing in of the Covid-19 vaccines because safety had been a top priority for Government before importing any medicine.
Dr Kabalo was reacting to MMD president Nevers Mumba that Zambia should not rush to receive and administer the Covid-19 vaccine before knowing its long term side effects.
In his New Year message, Dr Mumba said government should not take the Covid-19 vaccine until local labs and researchers certify that they were fit Zambians.
He said the vaccines could be a death trap, therefore, before subjecting any citizen to it, the vaccine has to be proved scientifically safe.
“As a Christian nation, Zambia must have its own sovereign decision on vaccines. We must not take any vaccines that are brought to us as we usually do as Africans.
“We must not accept to be injected ourselves with any vaccines as we do not yet know the long term effects of these vaccines. We must be sure that these drugs are not a death trap. We may be considered poor, but we are not stupid,” he said.
But Dr Kabalo said the Covid-19 vaccines had been approved by World Health Organisation (WHO) to be safe, effective and will save lives.
He said it was Government’s priority to conduct a rigorous scientific review of the available medical evidence to assess the safety of any vaccine before importing it.
Dr Kabalo said only vaccines that the WHO determines to be safe and effective are approved for use in Zambia.
“We are not rushing at all, because if we were rushing, we would have gotten it by now. As Government, we are very cautious to avoid getting something that would be harmful to the people. That is what we have always been doing because our role as Government and Ministry of Health is to ensure that we prolong people’s lives.
“So, we cannot bring in the country that which will kill people and everything that we bring in the country we ensure that they are safe. We have quality control that is in place, we have the Zambia Medicine Regulatory Authority that always do quality control. “In addition, we bring in medicines or vaccines that are already approved by the world known health institutions like the World Health Organisation. Any vaccines that will be brought in the country could have already gone through all such processes to ensure that they are safe to be used by human beings,” Dr Kabalo said.