Government says it has put in place a robust pharma covigilance system to ensure that it closely follows up any side effects from COVID-19 vaccines.
Eastern Province Minister, Makebi Zulu says the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective as indicated by the Minister of Health, Jonas Chanda.
ZANIS reports that Mr Zulu said this in a speech read on his behalf during the official launch of the COVID-19 programme in Eastern Province by Provincial Permanent Secretary, Veronica Mwiche,
Mr Zulu said the Ministry of Health is continuously monitoring any reported safety concerns associated with COVID-19 vaccinations.
“We note that in Africa, the majority of events reported are commonly accepted side effects such as pain and sight swelling at the site of injection, rather than severe Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI),” he said.
Mr Zulu said the Ministries of Information and Health will work closely with other stakeholders to ensure that accurate and timely Information on the COVID-19
vaccination programme is provided to the members of the public.
He noted that members of the public need to be well informed about the vaccine to avoid rumours, myths and misconceptions.
Eastern Province Health Director (PHD), Gideon Zulu said the province recorded 6,405 COVID-19 positive cases from a total of 67,914 cases conducted.
Dr Zulu said out of the number of positive cases recorded in the last one year, 365 were health workers depicting 14.8 percent among workers that were tested.
“I am therefore delighted that we have received this first batch of the vaccine and the first target group will be health workers, as we prepare to roll out to the other priority groupings,” he said.
“Let me emphasize that the vaccine is only an additional factor in terms of COVID-19 prevention. The five golden rules with regards to the COVID-19 prevention should still be adhered to and these include masking up, observing social distancing, washing your hands regularly with soap or use a hand sanitizer, avoiding unnecessary overcrowding and seeking medical help if ever you experience any symptoms,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senior Chief Nzamane of the Ngoni Speaking people of Chipata district encouraged the people in Eastern Province to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Government has brought us this vaccine so that the spread of the COVID-19 is reduced. Let us all ensure that we get vaccinated for us to stay safe,” Senior Chief Nzamane said.