Malawians who got the first dose of the Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine will start getting their second and last from June 3 next month, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has announced.
A statement from MoH which Nyasa Times has seen says recent evidence by WHO shows that the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine remains a two dose schedule but the vaccine is more effective if the interval is put at a minimum of 12 weeks.
The statement, dated May 3, 2021 and signed by MoH principal secretary Dr Charles Mwansambo, further said that the ability of the vaccine to protect one from being hospitalized or have a severe Covid-19 disease rises up to more than 80% if the second dose is given at not less than 12 weeks from the first dose.
Reads parts of the statement: “It is against this available evidence that the Ministry of Health informs health workers and the general public that administration of our second dose for the AstraZeneca vaccine will start on 3rd June 2021.”
After launching the exercise on 11 March, 2021, government was expected to launch the second exercise at the end of May.
Following the announcement, some health rights campaigners in the country have urged authorities to start raising more awareness on the second dose.
Currently over 300,000 people aged 18 years and above have been vaccinated in the country, according to MoH.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :