MALAWI. Lilongwe: Malawi’s president Lazarus Chakwera has said that Malawi has secured doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in an effort to curb the COVID-19 virus. While addressing the nation on Sunday, Chakwera said that the first consignment of the vaccine will arrive in the country at the end of February.
According to the reports, around 90 percent of the country’s population is expected to receive the doses. However, the first priority will be given to the frontline workers, the elderly, and those with underlying health conditions.
“Our own scientists in our own laboratories will verify the safety of the vaccine, and will give full information so that no one is misled by social media lies against vaccination that scientists have worked so hard to save lives”, Chakwera assured.
Chakwera has announced that Malawi’s scientists at the Malawi Liverpool Welcome Trust Lab at Queen Elizabeth Central hospital now have the capacity to sequence the virus that causes COVID-19.
He added that Malawi has partnered with the African and US Centers for Disease Control to bring the same capacity to the National Public Health Lab in Lilongwe.
Around 77 new COVID-19 tests have been established in the past two weeks. “We have also stocked our warehouse with 150,000 testing kits, which will last us the whole month of February while a new consignment is on the way,” Chakwera said.
The British manufactured Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine costs $4 per dose and is believed to be up to 90 percent effective in protecting against COVID-19.