Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Kennedy Malama has dismissed reports that there will be compensation for any negative reaction to the Covid-19 vaccine.
Reacting to a story published in the Times of Zambia dated Tuesday 20th April 2021 derived from his Sunday interview program on ZNBC 1 that his Ministry announced compensation to any reaction, Dr. Malama said that the is story is not only erroneous but misleading to the public.
He explained that the article fell short of going into details to explain what was alluded to during the interview that all matters of adverse events following immunization are looked at critically on a case-by-case basis with appropriate action taken.
The PS noted that at no time during the interview was it stated that any negative reaction to the vaccination will lead to compensation.
“Documented adverse events following immunization are explained to the clients before they are vaccinated and as part of the pharmacovigilance and monitoring measures, follow up and feedback information is routinely collected to address quality, safety, and efficacy, “, he said.
He further said side effects following immunization are due to a number of factors and are expected to varying degree hence such information is included on the manufacture’s leaflets accompanying the vaccines which are also used by healthcare workers as vaccines are being administered to the people.
Dr. Malama has assured the people that the COVID–19 vaccines that have been recommended for Zambia including the AstraZeneca are safe, efficacious, and suitable for the fight against the global pandemic.
He added that the Ministry of Health dissociates itself from the stated story.
Meanwhile. the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority ZAMRA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health has embarked on a nationwide sensitization and training of healthcare workers following the launch of the COVID-19 vaccination program last week.
This was contained in a statement released to the media yesterday by ZAMRA Senior Public Relations Officer Christabel Mutale Iliamupu.
“The training is directed towards building capacity of health care workers in implementation of the vaccine programme that among other things include; identification, monitoring and reporting of adverse events following immunization(AEFI), ” Ms Iliamupu said.
Mrs. Iliamupu disclosed that research has shown that all medicines have potential to cause adverse effects, therefore this will training will facilitate timely decision making and intervention on adverse events through early detection, causality assessment and prevention as the vaccine is rolled out.
She has therefore appealed to all members of the public that have been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine to report any adverse events and suspected medical product quality problems to the authority for appropriate regulation action.