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Germany gives Malawi 1.4 million Covid vaccine doses

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Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda

Malawi Friday received 1,464,000 doses of Janssen vaccine from the German government to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

The K5.7 billion consignment has doses that will expire in February and March 2023.

Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has described the gesture as an important push in efforts to ensure that Malawians access Covid jabs.

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“This is timely, we are excited to receive yet another consignment of the vaccine,” she said.

While asking government to expedite administering of the vaccines, German Ambassador Ralph Timmermann said his government hopes that Malawi will meet the minimum immunisation obligation of 10 percent.

“I urge the Government to facilitate the delivery and administration of these vaccines,” Timmermann said.

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In an interview, health rights activist Maziko Matemba said the move demonstrates global commitment towards efforts to eradicate the pandemic.

Earlier in the week, the Ministry of Health, through its spokesperson Adrain Chikumbe, had expressed concern over the slow uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country.

Chikumbe said on Wednesday that the only time the country registered an increase in Covid vaccination cases was during the first phase of the campaign.

He said, during that time, about 700,000 doses were administered.

He, however, said this has not been the case during the second phase.

“We, as a ministry, have tried several campaigns and measures to make sure that people get vaccinated but our efforts have faced resistance. As we speak, we have all vaccines in store but people are not willing to get vaccinated,” Chikumbe said.

Approximately 1.1 million Malawians (8.4 percent of the population) have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 from the targeted 11 million people.

Apart from Janssen, other vaccines being administered in the country include Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson as well as Pfizer.

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