LILONGWE (MalawiTalk) – A health rights activist Mr Maziko Matemba says the high demand for the he Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine should be a waking call to the government to swiftly bring in more doses.
Contrary to earlier fears of massive apathy, thousands of Malawians have this week been flocking to various AstraZeneca administration centres to get vaccinated.
At the moment, the country is relying on some 360,000 doses that arrived at the start of this month, as it expects more replenishments in the next few weeks.
Reports suggest that the country requires about K80 billion to attain the 11-million population that it intends to inoculate before the year ends.
Mr Matemba said that with many people evidently going for the jab, “the government needs to explore various ways of raising financial resources for procurement of the desired doses.”
Blantyre, Thyolo and Lilongwe had an overwhelming response for the vaccine when it rolled out in earnest for the phase targeting social workers, the elderly aged above 60 and people with underlying health conditions such as hypertension, cancers, diabetes, tuberculosis and HIV and Aids.
Ministry of Health Principal Secretary Dr Charles Mwansambo said about 100 000 more doses from the African Union will arrive in the country soon while an extra 1.26 million doses from the Covax facility will be in by end of May.
The Government of India recently donated to Malawi 50 000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, bringing the number of doses shipped into the country to 410 000.