Malawi sticks to AstraZeneca vaccine despite concerns about its efficacy

Minister of Health Khumbize Chiponda and  Minister of Information Gospel Kazako have announced that  government has decided  to go ahead with acquiring the Oxford-AstraZeneca  Covid-19 vaccine, despite concerns about its efficacy.

Ministers of Infomation Gospel Kazako (L) says no reasons to worry about the vaccine.

“We are going ahead as planned,” said Chiponda on Monday evening.

Malawi has acquired 1.5 million doses and that additional ones were on the way to vaccinate a total of about four and a half million people.

Concerns were raised after a research showed AstraZeneca vaccine offered minimal protection against mild infection from a new variant spreading in the country from South Africa blamed for the surge in  virus cases in Malawi.

The new variant has been linked to a second wave of infections in Malawi with the arrival of about 1 000 Malawians from South Africa.

But Chiponda, who is also Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 co-chairperson, said Malawi will go ahead to roll out  the vaccine which  has an efficacy of between 60% to 70 % efficacy while at the same time verifying whether the majority of the virus pandemic cases in the country are caused by the South African variant of the disease.

She said local scientists and partners such as World Health Organisation (WHO) were discussing the issue with their counterparts in South Africa.

Chiponda said: “The most important thing is that we will reduce the symptoms and reduce suffering.”

The Minister of Health said she also contacted her South African  counterpart Zweli Mkhize to find out what prompted its pause after researchers from the University of Witwatersrand and the University of Oxford found that the AstraZeneca vaccine provided only minimal protection against mild or moderate infection from the B.1.351 variant, now the dominant form of the virus in that country.

Before the new study raised question on the jabs, President Lazarus Chakwera said Malawi, one of Africa’s poorest countries, settled for the AstraZeneca vaccine because it is cheaper.

In a televised address on the fight against Covid-19, President Chakwera said although the efficacy is lower that than other vaccine types, the AstraZeneca vaccine has one great advantage over the other vaccines: its cost.

“At four dollars a dose, it costs two and a half times less than the two other vaccine types, almost four times less than a third type, five times less than a fourth type, and eight times less than a fifth type,” he said.

President Chakwera announced last week that Malawian scientists had confirmed that the country now has a more contagious new strain of the virus from South Africa known as 501Y.V2.

In his address Sunday, Chakwera said the country’s rate of infection is too high.

“Over the course of this past week, 2,987 new infections were confirmed by our testing facilities across the country. This represents a 22 percent positivity rate. And while it is lower than the 29 percent positivity rate from last week, it is still higher than the 0 to 5 percent rate we are aiming for,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kazako pleaded for patience on the matter, saying a group of experts on vaccination will be instrumental in the final determination of the matter but said there were no reasons to worry about the vaccine.

Malawi’s neighbours, Tanzania is not going on vaccination as its President John Magufuliu is only urging  people to pray in churches and mosques against what he described as “the Satanic virus.”

Madagascar also rejected the vaccine.

 

But majority of Malawians have shown willingness to take the vaccine if it were proved to be safe and effective.

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braveheart
5 months ago

Banana Republic! Shame!

Nyekhwe the nyex
Nyekhwe the nyex
5 months ago

Koma oChakwera, wanthu wolindima vima pre existing conditions, ma HIV ndi wonzawo nde nuwabayanso AstraZeneca poison? ayi tele! Tsano inutu uPresident Mukanika na bolani mudzimvina gwanyadza Kukasiya baba.Ulendo wakukanani tasochela muchipululudi

Last edited 5 months ago by Nyekhwe the nyex
Harambe Stars
Harambe Stars
5 months ago

Good decision. We should go ahead with the vaccination as it will serve lives which is our main interest. Let’s move decisively and that’s what leadership is about.

Yao king
Yao king
5 months ago

I don’t think is wise!!!!! There is no any equipments in MK,depending RSA and if Theba did not aprove why Mslawi… I thing someone made deal..to score big money so if they going to change…. It will be game over.
# only regents can understand this!!!!
Watch the space!!!!!

Bwande
Bwande
5 months ago
Reply to  Yao king

Its good idea Rev Chakwera but please start with people from Lilongwe and Mzuzu first here in southern region should must be the last to receive

Truth Shall Free Us
Truth Shall Free Us
5 months ago

It is totally misleading to say that Malawi has acquired the Astra Zeneca Covid Vaccines, as claimed by Rev Chakwera. These vaccines are being provided by COVAX, which is a WHO initiative to provide Vaccines to the poorest countries. Already the British High Commissioner has publicly clarified this, as reported in Nyasatimes. The Tonse or MCP government which is what really it really is should not try to make political capital by claiming that it has acquired the vaccines. Its important to give credit to international donors when credit is due. We Malawians have a tendency to be critical without… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Truth Shall Free Us
Khima
Khima
5 months ago

We simply don’t have a government. This vaccine has been suspended in South Africa where it is believed the new strain is originating from, why import to Malawi when evidence is there that it wont work? We have already lost 6bn kwacha via fraudulent logistics and 15 million dose will a gigantic loss with the evidence at hand.

Kwacha Nyasulu
Kwacha Nyasulu
5 months ago
Reply to  Khima

The Astra Zeneca vaccines has not been fully suspended in South Africa. 100,000 South Africans are being vaccinated and they will be monitored to see if Astra Zeneca is effective, because the trials so far were on very only small group of people and are not conclusive. If the results on the 100,000 are good then South Africa will use Astra Zeneca vaccines

Last edited 5 months ago by Kwacha Nyasulu
Zilirakhasu
Zilirakhasu
5 months ago
Reply to  Kwacha Nyasulu

Amalawi kutengeka. Even so called public health experts commenting on Zodiak could not disclose that the initial study was only a small one done on 2,000 people who are not in the vulnerable age group; and it only covered mild to moderate disease. To top it all the small study has not yet been peer reviewed. People who want to follow the RSA govt example need to be reminded on what Thabo Mbeki did with the forerunner of ARVs. He allowed millions of South Africans to die simply because he AZT had bad side effects although they could prolong life.… Read more »

Khima
Khima
5 months ago
Reply to  Kwacha Nyasulu

It appears our in not even scientific reasoning, it just that tagula tagula mufune musafune. 15 million dose sipano when there are reservations already. It will recieve bad reception.

Peace
5 months ago

Kodi corona ikukonda akutown okha? Ndiwo lemera, ndi ophunzira?

Concerned citizen
5 months ago

What body of knowledge has our medical community brought to the world stage. We have world class personnel and this is the time we need them the most.

Please bring your world class brains to the table. The nation needs you.

Keen Observer
Keen Observer
5 months ago

The likes of Professor Chisi, Professor Mwapasa where are they?

TWO WORLD ORDER
TWO WORLD ORDER
5 months ago

SOME MAY NOT COME OUT BECAUSE MONEY IS INVOLVED

Bwana wa Ulesi
Bwana wa Ulesi
5 months ago

Vuto loika M’busa kukhala president ndi limeneli alibe idea iliyonse about the vaccine akuchita kufuna ena amunamize cholinga adyepo. Iyaaa

Mwinithako
Mwinithako
5 months ago

This Tonse Liars government is very arrogant.It is ready to kill is voters because of riches from the Satanic World.Chakwera was already known for witchcraft when he was in the clergy.What can stop him to bewicth his own voters kkk

Namalila
Namalila
5 months ago
Reply to  Mwinithako

HAHAHAHAHAH…………………KOMA KULI FUMBI BOMA LANYOWANI – INE NDINADZIWA KUTI BOMA LODZADZANA NDI MABUSA, OYIMBA NDI ATOLANKHANI MWATI AYEMDETSE BOMA MUNYA MUONA…………..EFE PHEE NDI MULOPWANA KU MANGOCHI

sikelo
sikelo
5 months ago
Reply to  Mwinithako

Mbuzi inu eti!

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