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Covid booster doses hit by low uptake

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By Patience Lunda:

The Ministry of Health has decried low uptake of Covid booster doses following a resolution that was made in February this year that the country should roll out the regimen

But since the booster doses were authorised, only 955 people have received them in the country.

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In an interview yesterday, the ministry’s spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe attributed the low uptake to myths surrounding the vaccines and sheer negligence, among other reasons.

Chikumbe added that booster doses were not only meant for Covid vaccines but also other vaccines such as polio.

“New information has shown that people can be more protected against other Covid variants if they receive booster doses and we are trying to raise awareness so that many people should come out and receive them,” he said.

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To improve the uptake, the ministry said it had intensified awareness campaigns.

Health systems specialist Maureen Chirwa observed that people had relaxed in taking the vaccines because of reduced cases of Covid.

Chirwa, however, noted that re-emergence of Covid waves was inevitable, hence the need for people to get booster doses.

“The ministry and other partners should find ways on how they can reach out to people with messages about booster doses because people have relaxed but a Covid wave might come at any time, which is why people need to be protected,” she said.

Records show that close to one million people are fully vaccinated and are expected to receive booster doses.

Pfizer-BioNTeh and Moderna are the vaccines used for booster doses and are supposed to be administered after six months of completing the first Covid vaccination series.

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