Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo has clarified that the government is not compelling anyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19 against their will.
Following an outcry from a cross-section of society, Ms. Masebo said that people have an option to either get vaccinated or not, adding that Government will not take the right of citizens away but that it has a responsibility to protect citizens by ensuring they get vaccinated.
Ms. Masebo said that consultations were conducted with some Public Service unions and that these discussions will continue with various stakeholders.
Ms. Masebo said that Zambians are free to engage in constructive debate on Covid-19 measures put in place and that Government is taking note of the discussions.
Speaking during an update on the Covid-19 situation in the country, the Health Minister said Government will continue assessing the situation and engaging various stakeholders to determine the best way to handle the imminent threat of the 4th wave.
She expressed happiness with the increase in the number of people getting vaccinations following the revision of Covid 19 restrictions.
Ms.Masebo said 12, 239 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours, representing 8 percent of the targeted population.
And, Zambia National Public Health Institute Director-General Victor Mukonka said Covid vaccines are safe and effective.
Prof. Mukonka said the vaccines are prequalified by the World Health Organization and are approved locally by the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Health Infectious Diseases Director, Lloyd Mulenga said three Zambians had traveled to South Africa and tested positive to Covid-19 upon return on Saturday.
Prof. Mulenga says the three are under observation to determine the type of Covid 19 variant that they have and that results will be communicated to the public.
Meanwhile, the country has recorded 19 cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours out of 4 694 tests.