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Public scepticism over Covid-19 vaccine worries the Government

By SANFROSSA MANYINDA

GOVERNMENT is worried about the scepticism among some people over the safety and efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines.

The first consignment of the Covid Vaccine, Astra Zeneca arrived in the country yesterday.

The first batch contains 228, 000 doses which will be administered to frontline health workers, among others.

And Health Minister Jonas Chanda has reiterated that the vaccination will be done in a transparent and accountable manner.

Speaking when he received the vaccine batch, Dr. Chanda said the vaccination would be implemented in a cautious and phased up manner and on a voluntary and pilot basis.

He said vaccines were safe and advised the public to ignore myths and conspiracy theories.

Dr Chanda said it was disappointing that there were still a lot of myths and miscommunication especially on social media platforms about the Covid-19 vaccination strategy.

He said the Covid-19 vaccination programme was an important new addition to the strategic pillars for the prevention and control of the pandemic as vaccines not only protect the persons vaccinated, but also those around them.

“We re-emphasise that all the Covid-19 vaccines being brought in the country have gone through our due diligence processes and approved by the global health authorities including the World Health Organisation and the Africa CDC on efficacy and safety before use here.

“The COVAX initiative has so far delivered more than 60 million vaccine doses to 31 African countries.  About 35 countries have administered the vaccines and no serious consequences have so far been recorded,” he said.

Dr Chanda said that as of March 25, Ghana had given out more than 470, 000 of the 600, 000 initial doses it received.

Rwanda, which received under 400, 000 doses, had administered more than 345, 000 while Malawi has vaccinated more than 200, 000 people. 

Dr Chanda said it was important that the vaccines were deemed to prevent severe disease and death but that before the majority of the eligible adult population was vaccinated and “Herd Immunity” attained, those vaccinated would still have to adhere to the five golden rules of prevention.

He added that the Ministry of Health was closely monitoring the developments concerning the vaccine in these countries.

He however advised citizens to remain cautious of the imminent third wave that he said threatened the country in the coming cold season.

Dr Chanda called upon all citizens to rely only on official scientific information on the Ministry of Health and Zambia National Public Health Institute websites.

The country has recorded 35 new cases out of 3, 371 tests conducted in the last 24 hours bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 90, 064.

One new Covid-19 death was reported in the last 24 hours.  There are 760 active cases.

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