By ADRIAN MWANZA
THE US government has pledged to continue supporting the Zambian government fight the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.
U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, David Young said that the donation of 151,200 doses of the Johnsons and Johnsons Covid-19 vaccine donated by the United States Government was part of its global efforts to fight the coronavirus.
Mr Young said the vaccines were made available through the African Union Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility and were part of the U.S. pledge to provide at least 25 million of 80 million doses globally to Africa.
He said the U.S. government coordinated closely with the African Union and Africa Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on the country allocations.
“This donation will help protect the Zambian people from the ravages of the Covid-19 virus and begin to reduce the barriers to building back the Zambian economy,” Young said.
Mr Young expressed optimism at the latest stage of the U.S.-Zambian relationship, reassuring U.S. support to assist Zambia to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the United States was proud to strengthen its friendship through the donation of these life-saving vaccines and the third wave of Covid-19 had been especially difficult in Zambia.
Mr Young said additional U.S. shipments would come and would be able to partner and save lives he said the 151,200 doses were part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to share the U.S. vaccine supply with the world.
And receiving the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr Kennedy Malama said that Zambia was grateful for the support rendered by the US Government that donated the vaccines through the COVAX Facility.
He said the 150,000 doses would go a long way to curb the growth of the Covid -19 whose third wave had claimed many lives.
Dr Malama said 24 new Covid-19 related deaths had been reported in the last 24 hours; 19 of which had been classified as Covid-19 deaths and 5 as Covid-19 associated deaths.