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Covid doses in Saturday

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Charles Mwansambo

Secretary for Health Dr Charles Mwansambo has said 192,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid doses will arrive in the country through Kamuzu International Airport at 13.40 on Saturday.

The development comes when the Presidential Taskforce on Covid has indicated that, within 24 hours on Thursday, Malawi registered 21 Covid-related deaths.

Cumulatively 1,436 people have died from Covid-related complications since the first case was reported in the country in April last year.

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Sounding firm in an interview, Mwansambo said the vaccine would come without fail to restock Covid vaccine reserves which ran out mid-June.

Initially, the doses, which are coming in as a donation from United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund and the Government of France, were supposed to arrive on July 15 but failed due to logistical challenges.

“At present, we are looking at those that had the first dose. We are saying this because the J and J [Johnson & Johnson] is also coming next week. Priority will be given to healthcare workers, among other groups,” he said.

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This means those that have not received any jab are right candidates for J&J of which, according to Mwansambo, only one dose will be administered. At least 302,400 doses of J & J are expected to arrive within the next two weeks.

According to the ministry, other doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine amounting to 119,200 will come before the end of July.

Other consignments of vaccines include a package of 360,000 doses of AstraZeneca arriving end-August and early September and 372,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine arriving before the end of September.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has warned that most of the Covid patients are asymptomatic; as such, every person should be treated as a potential carrier of the disease.

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