By James Mwala
Despite growing global reports of side effects that the Astrazeneca vaccine is causing to people, the rollout continues in Malawi with top political leaders receiving the jab already.
The Covax supported initiative had its doses arrive in Malawi on 5th March. However, there have been myths associated with vaccines, feats that have only been cemented by global reports of blood clotting.
Top global media outlets have been reporting that in nationals like Italy, Netherlands and Portugal, the vaccine has been suspended.
However, in Malawi government insists, the people who have so far received the vaccine have not complained of any side effects.
For instance, in one lakeshore district of Mangochi, people attacked a school over reports that government had earmarked as a centre for vaccination.
” We have a local study that has shown that there hasn’t been any side effects on people that have received the jab here in Malawi. Let there be no panic” said Khumbize Chiponda, the Southern African nation’s Health Minister.
Top on the billing to get the jab has been President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima. Former leaders, Bakili Muluzi who is the first democratically elected leader and Joyce Banda, the country’s first female leader.
At the moment, there are still restrictive measures that government ordered. Public gatherings remain restricted to 50 people although schools opened.
Recently, the social media has been awash with questions on why politicians are going ahead with electoral campaigns.
This comes at a time when there are by-elections in some areas whose law makers died and where the court ordered for fresh polls.
One of the areas up for contention is the lower shire district of Nsanje, which borders Mozambique where former Foreign Affairs Minister Francis Kasaila had his election quashed by the court.
The court cited electoral irregularities that took place in the 2019 parliamentary election in the area.