Ex-president Muluzi bemoans deplorable Covid-19 vaccination statistics

Malawi’s former head of state, Dr. Bakili Muluzi, has urged people in the country to take the issue of vaccinating against the novel coronavirus seriously, saying the present statistics of those that have been vaccinated are deplorable.

Muluzi, who is the country’s first democratically elected leader and ruled from 1994 to 2004, said on Tuesday at his BCA residence in Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre, that he was appalled by the realization that less than 400 000 people in the country had received the AstraZeneca vaccine since the roll out of the vaccination exercise in March.

Muluzi receives second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine at his BCA residence

Malawi rolled out the second phase of the vaccination exercise on June 3, but the response has been abysmal. In two full days from June 3, only 19 Malawians had received the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, a development health experts described as very “worrisome.”

As of Tuesday, June 14 a total of 381 257 vaccine doses had been administered out of the 512 000 the country received from Africa Union and India, among others. 19 160 of those were incinerated after they expired.

The ex-Malawi leader, who is accused of stealing K1.7 billion during his presidency alongside his former personal secretary, Lyness Whiskey, appealed to Malawi citizens, in a media interview after he had received his second jab, to take the vaccination seriously.

“This is not a government problem. Look at the way the economy and social life have been affected by the pandemic. We need to take the personal responsibility to protect ourselves and others by getting the vaccine,” said Muluzi.

Blantyre district director of health and social services, Dr Gift Kawalazira, who vaccinated Muluzi said he was worried with the rising new Covid-19 infections being recorded in the district.

According to Kawalazira, the rise, as of Tuesday June 14, was at 15 percent.

“If we are not careful, the coronavirus disease might overrun the vaccination exercise, amid concerns of a third wave which is wreaking havoc in neighbouring countries,” said Kawalazira.

Dr Gama Bandawe, a virologist, also warned on Tuesday that Malawi was at the foot of the third wave of Covid-19, and that “if people continue to flout preventive measures the country will perish.”

Malawi has between January 3 2020 and June 15 2021, according to WHO, registered 34,564 cases of COVID-19 with 1,159 deaths.

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