By KETRA KALUNGA
ZAMBIA has been allocated doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines, Minister of Health, Jonas Chanda has said.
Dr Chanda said Government would still continue to exploring additional options for the Covid-19 vaccine programme.
He said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which is an addition to the COVAX facility has been established by the African Union and is being spearheaded by the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT).
Dr. Chanda also said that the local task team is this week expected to hold a meeting to review the guidelines for the Private Sector and Non-State Actors who have expressed interest in supporting the vaccine acquisition.
He said in a statement on the Covid-19 update that the team would focus on aligning to the country’s Covid-19 Vaccine Acquisition and Deployment processes and ensure the safety and efficacy criteria are met throughout the programme.
Dr. Chanda clarified that the ministry’s engagement of these private players would proceed cautiously with approved organisations being represented.
And Dr. Chanda said the country’s Covid-19 case positivity continues to remain low and commended the front line health staff for remaining steadfast.
He however said the case admissions have remained stagnant with the hospitalised patients observed due to prolonged length of stay in the facility.
Dr. Chanda said the ministry has observed that the severity of disease remains high and similarly mortality continues to be recorded at a steady rate, with the numbers from Northern Province currently being a cause for concern.
He said this has promoted the ministry to further invest in capacity building and strengthening of critical care management of patients countrywide.
And Dr. Chanda said the country has recorded 62 new cases out of 2, 438 tests conducted and two new deaths from Northern and Southern provinces bringing the cumulative number of Covid-19 related deaths recorded to 1, 224.