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Health Minister Khumbize Chiponda

Malawi’s Covid19 vaccine dilemma

February 12, 2021

By James Mwala

Health Minister Khumbize Chiponda
Health Minister Khumbize Chiponda

The Malawians government is still rocked between options of selecting the AstraZeneca vaccine or others amid growing concerns over the efficiency of the vaccine.

This is a change in a stand from the initial commitment when government was to rollout the vaccine from March.

The uncertainty over the vaccine comes after the South African government withdrew from the administration of the vaccine after its efficiency and effectiveness raised questions.

However, the Malawi government says currently, there are engagement with medical experts to examine the South African variant against the Malawi situation.

Health Minister Khumbize Chiponda has told the media that authorities will make a position on whether or not to proceed with AstraZecena vaccine considering that viruses evolve over time.

The latest decisions are however being questioned by activists.

A health rights campaigner George Jobe has expressed surprise at government position saying the taskforce already announced that the new variant from South Africa is in the country.

Jobe said government focus was supposed to be on establishing if the vaccine will be effective by using the pharmacy and poisons board- to test it.

The development have also met with reports that about 6.2 billion kwacha ($7,705.47) meant for Covid19 has been misappropriated by some agencies.

This has since forced President Lazarus Chakwera to order for a probe into the matter.

It is however being reported that so far, some agencies have literally failed to account for funds.

Meanwhile, human rights groupings are challenging government to address the matter or risk national wide protests.

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