The first consignment of the Covid-19 vaccines allocated to Zambia have arrived in Zambia today.
To receive the vaccine at Keneth Kaunda International airport this afternoon, the Health Minister was accompanied by dignitaries from cooperating partners that include the United Nations Resident Coordinator, the World Health Organisation country representative, UNICEF Country Representative, the British High Commissioner, the United States Ambassador, the Europeran Union Country representative, the Japanese Ambassador, the Canadian Ambassador, the German Ambassador, the Indian ambassador, the Norwegian Ambassador, and the Saudi Arabia Ambassador among others.
Speaking after receiving the vaccine the Minister of Health reiterated that the benefits of the use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine far outweigh the risks reported to be related to the vaccine’s use.
He said Government is aware of some safety concerns that have arisen regarding some of the Covid 19 Vaccines that are being rolled out which includes the Astrazeneca vaccine.
“Governments desire is to protect the Zambian people and has since put in place communication strategies to dispel myths and conspiracy theories concerning the effects of the Astrazeneca Covid 19 Vaccines.” Dr. Chanda said.
The Health Minister commended President Edgar Lungu for leading a spirited fight against Covid-19, by leading the Covid-19 response and the vaccination programme.
Dr. Chanda also commended the Cooperating partners for their support to the Zambian government towards the fight against Covid-19.
And speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the event World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative Dr. Nathan Bakyaita said when the vaccines were being made there were stringent measures that were taken to ensure that they are safe, efficacious and are of good quality.
“Of course people have come up with stories about the vaccines and we are aware of that, so we have come up with a communication strategy that will be able to adress the information about the vaccine and pass it on, but in addition to that we have set up a system for monitoring any side effects that may come up as a result of the vaccine, because as you know, any medicine, any vaccine will have side effects.” he said.