By Chancy Namadzunda:
Minister of Civic Education and National Unity Timothy Mtambo has disclosed that government has administered 240,744 Covid-19 vaccine doses.
Speaking during during daily briefs on civic education on Covid-19 on Thursday, Mtambo said the country has a total 254,816 doses of the vaccine available for use up to July 2021.
Malawi rolled out COVID-19 vaccination programme with support from the COVAX facility, since the start, the Africa Union and the Government of India assisted the country with a total of 512,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine.
“Some people are worried that the COVID-19 vaccine doses are expired, I would like to inform all Malawians that as a country we received different consignments with different expiry dates.
“This concerned consignment had about 102,000 doses and only 16,440 doses have expired as of April 13, 2021. This is because by the time these doses arrived here, there was only about two weeks before their expiry.
“The Ministry of Health has recalled all expired COVID-19 vaccine from all districts and facilities for destruction in line with Government pharmaceuticals disposal guidelines.
“I would like to assure all Malawians, that all those that have been vaccinated the vaccine was still good. Your Government cannot administer to its citizens any expired medicines let alone vaccines.
“One of the Government cardinal responsibility is to ensure safety of its citizens at all costs to make sure that citizens are provided with quality health products including vaccines,” said Mtambo
Mtambo encouraged all the people above 18 years of age to go and get vaccinated.
“You can get vaccinated at any designated Government and CHAM health facilities in all the districts. The importance of COVID-19 vaccination cannot be overemphasized as it will help reduce deaths, the risk of hospitalization and some opportunistic diseases that take advantage of COVID-19 to become severe and deadly,” he said.
As government is running massive civic education campaigns on the vaccine, Mtambo has rebuked the parody of fake news, which he said is fueled by other irresponsible opinion leaders at various platforms discourage people from getting the vaccine.
“This is bad and unfortunate. I plead with such leaders to stop fueling the spread of fake news and misinformation. Let’s not put people’s lives on the knife edge.
“Let me appeal to my fellow Malawians not to believe and trust everything that is on social media. Social media is not a credible source of information.
“This virus is not looking at one’s status, tribe, location, weather, type of food one eats, or one’s body size. It can attack anyone. Although the country is currently registering few numbers of people testing COVID-19 positive, the pandemic is still in our midst. We should observe all preventive measures at all times for this is the only sure way we can avoid contracting the disease,” he said.