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200,000 get vaccinated

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Maziko Matemba

Malawi has passed the 200,000 mark in administering Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccines, the Presidential Taskforce on Covid (PTC) has said.

PTC co-Chairperson Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said the country was on course to protecting people from coronavirus.

“The public should be assured that our country has a robust immunisation programme and, within that, vaccine safety surveillance is one of the key components that is taken seriously,” she said on Saturday.

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She said the surveillance team follows up on all adverse events following vaccination and the same is happening in the Covid vaccination exercise.

Kandodo Chiponda said no major side effects had been reported as the surveillance team continues to monitor the exercise.

She said the vaccine was safe, with few side effects which were minor and self-limiting.

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“These include pain or soreness on the injection site, fever, headache, muscle or joint pain, fatigue or nausea, and these will usually go away without any need of hospital treatment,” she said.

Health rights activist Maziko Matemba said Malawi made the right choice to bring in Oxford- AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, which was backed by the vaccine deployment plan and community engagement plan.

He said the response to the vaccine was largely positive.

“If you meet community members, most of them are for the vaccine. The question is how to make sure that information should reach out and resources are available so that everything is done according to plan,” he said.

Malawi is targeting to vaccinate 10 million people.

President Lazarus Chakwera launched the vaccination exercise on March 11 this year and was the first one to get the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine jab in the country.

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