By NATION REPORTER
A TOTAL of 14, 012 persons have been vaccinated countrywide, Health Minister Jonas Chanda has said.
Dr Chanda said 4,565 healthcare workers have now been vaccinated countrywide, bringing the percentage of healthcare workers among the vaccinated to 33 percent.
He said in the last 24 hours 1, 469 people received the Covid-19 vaccine countrywide.
“A total of 4, 565 healthcare workers have now been vaccinated countrywide. This brings the percentage of healthcare workers among the vaccinated to 33 per cent,” Dr Chanda said.
He said other categories of priority groups receiving the Covid-19 vaccine included Immigration, Police and other security wings personnel, religious and traditional leaders, traders and transporters.
“We are elated to note the community leadership and gatekeepers who are taking the lead and taking the Covid-19 vaccine themselves.
“We note that some people in our society, instigated by vaccine skepticism and misinformation especially on social media, are averse towards receiving the Covid-19 AstraZeneca and other vaccines amidst reports of some very rare blood clotting incidences thought to be probably associated with the vaccine, and for which none have been reported in the 38 countries in Africa vaccinating,” Dr Chanda said.
He said incidences of blood clotting following immunisation were extremely very rare, and if by any “one in a million chance” they occured and were detected early were treatable.
Dr Chanda said most countries recognise the fact that the benefits of Covid-19 vaccination far outweigh any risk. And Dr Chanda said even as the nation fights the Covid-19 pandemic government would not lose focus of other deadly infectious diseases like malaria and others.
He said while tremendous progress had been made in controlling Malaria globally, Africa still grieves a preventable 384,000 malaria deaths annually.
Dr Chanda said Zambia remained steadfast in its prevention programmes including distribution of insecticide treated nets, indoor residual spreading, testing for and treatment of malaria as well as use of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnant women.
“Excitingly, there is remarkable progress in the development of an anti-malaria vaccine with successful trials conducted by international health experts in Burkina Faso showing 77 per cent efficacy, and now in the final stages before starting large scale clinical trials.
“Many global health experts believe an efficacious and safe malaria vaccine is a game changer in the progress towards Malaria Elimination,” he said.