The Ministry of Health says it is safe for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and the elderly to take the COVID-19 vaccines.
Ministry of Health, Permanent Secretary for Technical Services, Kennedy Malama says the Ministry through the Zambia Immunization Technical Advisory Group (ZITAG) examined the safety of the vaccines to the three groups of people.
Speaking at the routine COVID-19 press briefing in Lusaka today, Dr Malama noted concerns raised with regard to the administration of the vaccines to pregnant and breastfeeding women and the elderly.
Dr Malama allayed the fears saying a process of due diligence was conducted to ascertain the safety of the vaccines.
“Based on these findings, the Zambia COVID-19 vaccination guidelines support the vaccination of pregnant and lactating women as well as the elderly based on the great potential benefits,” he said.
Meanwhile Zambia has continued to record high numbers of COVID-19 infections.
The country recorded 1,619 new confirmed cases out of 6,485 tests conducted.
Dr Malama said this represents a 25 percent positivity rate bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded since the pandemic broke out in March 2020 to 167,132.
Dr Malama further disclosed that 59 deaths and eight COVID-19 associated deaths have been recorded countrywide in the last 24 hours.
He said Lusaka and Eastern Province have recorded the highest number of deaths with 20 and 16 respectively.
Dr Malama further disclosed that both Copperbelt and Southern provinces have recorded 10 each, while Western recorded 4.
He said Luapula and Muchinga recorded 2 each with Central, Northern and North-western all recording one death each.
Dr Malama expressed concern that Eastern Province has recorded a spike in cases.
“Eastern Province has seen an increase in testing positivity, admissions to hospital and deaths all above the national average. We call upon the people to adhere to the public health and social measures if we are to turn this unpleasant trajectory,” he said.