The 151, 200 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine have today arrived in the country Zambia. The vaccines are from the United States of America donated to Zambia under the COVAX facility as part of its global efforts to fight the coronavirus.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Technical Services, Kennedy Malama was at hand to receive the consignment at Lusaka’s Kenneth Kaunda International Airport this afternoon. Dr Malama thanked the Unites States (U.S) government for supporting the country’s vaccination programme. He said the receipt of the vaccine today is a symbol of the long standing partnership between the two governments.
The Permanent Secretary noted that Zambia and the U.S government have a long standing collaborative partnership not only with HIV and AIDS but in Malaria, Tuberculosis and now the COVID-19.
“The support is not only for the vaccination programme but more other health programmes. The focus has been on health system strengthening,” he stated.
And Dr Malama noted that COVID-19 is still affecting the country at various levels hence government’s commitment to its fight.
“COVID-19 is still with us in Zambia but as we continue fighting against it in our country, we are also aware of what is happening at a global scale. Government remains committed to ensuring that we put COVID- 19 under control sooner than later,” the Permanent Secretary hinted.
Dr Malama indicated that by tomorrow the nation will be guided on how the Johnson and Johnson doses will be executed stating that government does not want to lose any time.
“For us this is a work in progress. We are delighted that the vaccines have arrived and will swing into action. We are very excited that we are moving forward, by the end of this year most of our people will have a chance to be vaccinated,” Dr. Malama said.
And World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative, Nathan Bakyaita also thanked the United States government for the support rendered to Zambia in its COVID-19 vaccination programme. Dr Bakyaita there is need to tackle COVID-19 globally including its 2021 variance. He further thanked the U.S government for its generous technical and financial support to fight COVID-19 at global level.
Meanwhile, the U.S Embassy in Zambia is pleased with the arrival of 151,200 doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, David Young said the vaccines which were made available through the African Union COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility, are part of the U.S. pledge to provide at least 25 million of 80 million doses globally to Africa.
“This donation will help protect the Zambian people from the ravages of the COVID-19 virus and begin to reduce the barriers to building back the Zambian economy,” he said.
Mr Young expressed optimism at the latest stage of the U.S -Zambian relationship, and assured the country of the U.S. support to assist Zambia to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The United States is proud to strengthen our friendship through the donation of these life-saving vaccines. The third wave of COVID-19 has been especially difficult in Zambia. Through these vaccines, and the additional U.S. shipments to come, we partner to save lives,” said Chargé Young.
These 151,200 doses are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to share the U.S. vaccine supply with the world.