Prophet David Mbewe of Living Word Evangelistic Church has told President Lazarus Chakwera to swiftly look into reports that AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19, expected to be a mainstay of protection, is shrouded in controversy as more countries limit its use over concerns that it causes blood clots.
Mbewe, who heads the Freedom of Worship Association Movement, said these reports should not be completely dismissed.
The Netherlands joined a growing list of about a dozen places, including northern Italy and Ireland, moving to suspend the shot over concerns about possible side effects from two batches.
While regulators from Europe to Asia said there was no indication of any direct link with the vaccine, reports of serious blood clotting after inoculation triggered a spate of suspensions stretching as far as Thailand.
Prophet Mbewe questioned why only ordinary citizens are developing complications when leaders of those countries have received the same vaccine.
“In countries where the vaccine has been suspended for investigations following reports of complications, their Presidents too led by example in taking the vaccine just as in Malawi.
“One important observation in those countries is that the reported complications have been among the ordinary citizens not their Presidents or other senior government officials,” he said.
Mbewe while faulting lack of proper study on the vaccine in the country, has challenged government to assure the citizenry that they will receive the same vaccine they received.
Recently, Khumbize Chiponda, Minister of Health made a statement insisting that a local study has found out that there are no negative effects of te vaccine for the people that have so far received the jab including President Chakwera, Vice Saulos Chilima and ex leader Bakili Muluzi.
AstraZaneca has defended the vaccine, saying in statement that more than 17 million doses have been administered in Europe and U.K., with no evidence that the shot increased the risk of blood clots.
Internatipnal media outlets have reported that there have been 15 reports of clots in the legs, called deep vein thrombosis, and 22 cases where they reached the lungs, known as pulmonary embolism.
Earlier this month, Malawi received 360,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the global Covax facility on March 5.
Over 60000 health workers will be among the first to be vaccinated.
It is expected that 3.6 million people will be vaccinated in the first phase.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :