Ministry of Health, Public Health Research Director Andrew Silumensii has urged various stakeholders to re-strategize and update the COVID-19 deployment plan in the country.
Speaking when he officiated at the Intra-COVID-19 vaccine review at Bonanza Resort yesterday in Lusaka, Dr Silumesii disclosed that out of the targeted eligible population, only three per cent have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr Silumesi disclosed that as of September 11, 2021, records show that 308,147 Zambians have fully received either the double or single doses of available vaccines out of the targeted 8 million eligible Zambians.
He stated that more needs to be done to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine acceptance is improved in the country and more eligible individuals get the vaccine.
‘’We are still at a place where the COVID-19 vaccine uptake is less than what has been desired and we need to improve this scenario, ‘’ said Dr Silumesii.
He also disclosed that the government has made a decision to procure 4.4 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine with resources from the treasury and the various private cooperating partners.
‘’We believe that as we go along the way we will have more vaccines available to cater for all the eligible population in the country,’’ said Dr Silumesii.
And the World Health Organisation (WHO) has pledged to support the Ministry of Health to diligently assess the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
WHO Country Representative Katepa Bwalya said the organisation has been working with the Ministry to ensure that the vaccines being administered in the country are safe.
‘’We will continue to work with the government of Zambia to ensure that the vaccines that are being produced are accessed and approved for use in the country to ensure the safety of the people,’’ she said.
And Center for Disease Control (CDC) Surveillance Advisor Jouss Hine said that CDC will continue to provide financial support for the COVID-19 programme in Zambia.
He expressed delight with the multi-sectoral approach to review and access the COVID-19 vaccine deployment in the country thus far, and come up with new plans and strategies that can enhance the COVID-19 vaccine acceptance by the eligible population in Zambia.
Meanwhile, The Ministry of Health says it will continue prioritizing the promotion of good health and preventing disease while ensuring treatment for various ailments in spite the ravaging effects of the coronavirus.
Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo has reminded the nation that the ministry has continued to offer essential health services in public health facilities as well as in the community.
The Minister said members of the public should continue utilizing the available health services such as child growth monitoring and promotion, HIV counselling, testing and Treatment and Family Planning among others.
Ms Masebo in a statement made available to ZANIS has since prodded the public to continue adhering to the COVID-19 public health guidelines.
She noted that the anticipated fourth wave poses a high risk to the health care workers, their families and the public in general.
‘’It is our fervent hope that the proposed vaccination campaign will increase the proportion of our people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19,’’ stated Ms Masebo.
She indicated that the COVDI-19 vaccination goes hand in hand with adherence to the five golden rules of masking up, maintaining physical distance, washing hands frequently with soap, avoiding crowded places and seeking medical attention early if symptomatic.
Ms Masebo announced that 89 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded out of 6,296 tests conducted in the last 24 hours bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases to date to now stand at 208,049.
She disclosed two COVID-19 related deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded to now stand at 3,635.
626,280 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered cumulatively since the COVID-19 programme was launched.