The government has said the second phase of Covid vaccine administration starts on Thursday, June 3, adding that it is ready for the exercise.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Joshua Malango said the country had enough doses for the exercise, adding that other consignments of vaccines would arrive in the country next week.
“I will advise on the quantities arriving next week but the country has, and will have, adequate quantities of vaccines. We are going back to the cycle we started with; healthcare workers, essential service providers, the elderly, those with underlying co-morbidities and then the rest of the population,” he said.
Health rights advocate Maziko Matemba said it was necessary that those that got the first dose of vaccines go for the second one.
“According to the evidence we have received so far, it is important that, after the first vaccine, people should get the second dose after 12 weeks to be adequately protected. With the threat of Covid still around, and the third wave confirmed in South Africa, it is important that people are adequately protected,” he said.
Matemba said the government should not only ensure that vaccines are available but raise awareness about availability of the vaccines.
So far, Malawi has vaccinated 345,000 people.
The government is targeting 11 million Malawians, after it started vaccine administration on March 11 2021, when President Lazarus Chakwera was vaccinated in Zomba while Vice- President Saulos Chilima got his jab in Mzuzu City on the same day.
The country first received 512,000 doses of the vaccine meant for the first dose, while another batch comprising 900,000 doses from Covid Vaccine Access (Covax) Facility were expected to start arriving by May end.
Malawi first received a batch of 360,000 doses of Covid vaccine early March under the Covax programme. A few weeks later, Malawi received other allotments of 50,000 doses from India and 102,000 doses from the African Union (AU).
Out of the 102,000 doses from AU, 16, 440 doses of the vaccine expired and were destroyed.