Govt to consider Chinese Covid-19 vaccine

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FILE PHOTO: Nurses react as they treat a COVID-19 patient in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) at Milton Keynes University Hospital, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Milton Keynes, Britain, January 20, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

Government will consider adding Chine’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine to its basket of vaccines to ensure adequate doses for the eligible population in Zambia.

This follows World Health Organisation (WHO) approval of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine and added it to the list of vaccines, which is a prerequisite for a potential COVAX roll-out.

Minister of Health Jonas Chanda says Sinopharm is in use in over 100 countries with millions of people vaccinated and it is a safe and efficacious vaccine.

Dr Chanda expressed delight to note that great improvement in the flight concerning the COVID-19 vaccination uptake by Zambians especially the frontline workers.

‘’We are elated to see many ordinary people including our service providers in our markets and bus stations follow their leaders in accessing the COVID-19 vaccine, ’’ he said.

Dr Chanda indicated that in the last 24 hours 5,787 persons have been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca-vaccine bringing the total of all vaccinated so far against COVID-19 to 77,348.

He further urged all the political parties to be a part of the positive response in tandem with the COVID-19 prevention guidelines to ensure safety from COVID-19 before, during and after elections and indeed any other incidences as the country goes into the campaigns and elections processes.

“We are elated to report the positive receipt of COVID-19 guidelines by the different parties after a team of technical experts from the Ministry of Health Headquarters and Zambia National Public Health Institute participated in the Electoral Commission of Zambia led engagement with the political party leaders and other related stakeholders,” Dr Chanda said.

He further disclosed that in the last 24hours Zambia reported 53 new confirmed COVID-19 cases out of 4,325 tests conducted bring the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 92,057.

“Currently there are 33 patients admitted to our isolation facilities in the country. Among these 30 are on Oxygen therapy of whom 3 are in critical condition and the country has recorded one COVID-19 related death bringing the cumulative of death recorded to 1,257 to date,” Dr Chanda said.

This is contained in a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today.