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AT least 156 people have so far been vaccinated following the launch of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination campaign yesterday at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka. Minister of Health Jonas Chanda said front-liners such as health workers, media personnel and many other individuals are turning up to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Dr. Chanda expressed gratitude to those who got vaccinated and encouraged more opinion shapers, leaders and the community to make a bold decision and get vaccinated as the benefit of the vaccination outweighs the negative effects of not being jabbed at all. “I encourage opinion shapers, civic leaders and media houses to get vaccinated and share your experience. I was particularly moved by one journalist from ZNBC who got vaccinated and shared his experience on a late night show on which I featured,” Dr. Chanda said.

He added that, so far there are no reports concerning the adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) that may occur after acquiring a vaccination but only a few reports on common side effects associated with any other vaccine such as pain at the point of injection and headache which he said are manageable. Dr. Chanda has since assured the public that Government is working closely with the AEFI surveillance system to ensure that any concerns that will occur are reported as soon as possible as the vaccination is being conducted in a cautious manner.

He has also disclosed that in the last 24 hours, Zambia recorded 143 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the cumulative number of cases recorded to 90, 532. He said there was also one Covid-19 related death, bringing the cumulative number of Covid-19 related deaths reordered to date to 1, 230. And 42 people have been discharged, bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 88, 272.

He said there are 168 active cases both under community care and Covid-19 centres. Dr. Chanda has however encouraged continued adherence to the health guidelines despite government rolling out the vaccination campaign, saying there may be a possible third wave in the cold season.

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