The government has announced that the first consignment of Covid-19 allocated to Zambia will arrive in the country will arrive on Monday April 12 2021.
Delivering a ministerial statement to Parliament this morning, Health Minister Dr. Jonas Chanda announced that the vaccines under the COVAX facility are scheduled to arrive in the country at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport at 14:35 hours.
He said the consignment would consist of an initial 228,000 doses of the covishield vaccine, commonly known as the Oxford AstraZeneca manufactured by the serum institute in India.
“This is only one of the vaccines in the basket approved by Cabinet, COVAX facility as I said in my Ministerial statement, will cover 20% of the eligible adult population above 18 years old, that is 3,676,791 people while the rest of the 26 percent will be covered under the other pillars under the vaccine program.” He said.
He added that administration of the vaccines would be done in accordance with the prioritization criteria as outlined in the national vaccine deployment plan to ensure that those at greatest risk receive the vaccines first.
“The first category to be considered will be frontline health workers, followed by other frontline workers performing core society functions, including the police, the security forces, teachers, traditional leaders, the clergy, immigration officers. This will be followed by those over the ages of 65 years and people with underlying conditions, those living in congregate settings and the rest of the population will also be vaccinated, including marketeers, traders, bus and truck drivers.” The Health Minister said.
He also reiterated government’s commitment to protecting the health of Zambians adding that no one who is eligible as long as they are willing and volunteering to be vaccinated will be left behind.
Dr. Chanda added that in the spirit of transparency and accountability, the media would be invited to witness the arrival of the vaccine.
“More consignments of Covid-19 vaccines are expected to follow in due course and the nation will be informed accordingly.” He said.