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Africa earmarked for 90m Covid vaccine doses

Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda

A top World Health Organisation (WHO) official has disclosed that nearly 90 million doses of the Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine could start arriving in African countries, including Malawi, later this month.

This was disclosed during an online press briefing on Covid vaccine rollout in Africa.

“The Covax Facility is aiming to reach at least 20 percent of Africans, which will require delivery of up to 600 million doses, this year,” said WHO Africa Regional Director Matshidiso Moeti.

Speakers included Malawi’s Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda and her Rwandan counterpart Daniel Ngamije.

Presenting Covid trends for Malawi, as at January 31, Kandodo Chiponda said the weekly positivity rate was approximately 28 percent down from 35 percent.

She added that Malawi would join the rest of the world in introducing Covid vaccines during the first week of March 2021, at the earliest.

The vaccine is expected to reach 20 percent of the population.

“However, the government [of Malawi] will engage in bilateral and multilateral partner discussions with relevant partners to lobby for additional vaccines beyond the 20 percent of the Covax Facility [allocation]. Loans, grants and private partnerships will form part and parcel of our resource mobilisation,” Kandodo Chiponda said.

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