The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has said it will be forced to go to court to seek protection of the lives and health Malawi citizens over Covid-19 vaccine, saying it is “horrified” to learn that government has decided to enter an indemnity agreement with manufacturers against liability over any harm emanating the vaccines.
A statement issued by DPP spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira on Friday comes amidst some circuclation myths about the vaccine on social media and on WhatsApp religiously targeted claiming claim the vaccines contain animal produce – eating pork goes against the religious beliefs of Muslims
The DPP says it has not been provided with the exact and full terms of the indemnity and has demanded that the document of indemnity must be made public for all Malawians to appreciate its purpose and import.
“As everyone is now aware, the Covid-19 vaccine is shrouded in controversy. Its safety, especially to Africans, is suspect. This is perhaps why the manufacturers of the vaccine are demanding from obsequious governments such as the Malawi Government, assurances that they will not be liable if harm is caused to Malawians.
“A Government that is accountable to its citizens cannot forego the rights of its citizens without fully informing its citizens of the implications of the indemnity, and without seeking informed acceptance by the citizens,” reads part of the statement.
The DPP has admitted that vaccines have proven to be an efficient way of addressing diseases but the party has also claimed that some vaccines have caused irreparable harm to humans.
According to the DPP, Malawi must be guided by scientific evidence of the vaccines’ safety. The party has argued that if the first step the manufacturers are demanding is an indemnity, then Malawi must question their confidence in their vaccine.
“We therefore demand that the Government must come clean on this matter. What do our scientists know about the vaccine? What assurances have we received that the vaccine is safe? What is the indemnity protecting the manufacturers from?” reads the statement in part.
The DPP has since demanded the Government to provide a satisfactory explanation to Malawians within the next 7 days failing which the opposition party will seek the intervention of the courts to “protect the lives and health of citizens.”
Malawi is yet to get the vaccine but this week lessons were disrupted in some schools due to fake news that health workers were going to administer Coronavirus vaccine to learners.