Sparc Systems encourages staff to get vaccinated by offering salary bonus as incentive

As the concern around the spread of CoVID-19 pandemic continues to grow, management of one of the countries top ICT companies, SPARC Systems Limited, is encouraging its members of staff to get vaccinated by dangling a salary bonus as an incentive.

In an internal memo, the company will offer all vaccinated employees — including those that have received their first doses — one week salary, which is quarter of their monthly net salary.

“As a company, we are doing our best to keep everyone healthy and safe in the working place whilst minimizing the disruptions to our day-to-day operations,” says the memo signed by its managing director and founder, Wisely Phiri dated August 6.

Sparc Managing Director Wisely Phiri

“The CoVID-19 vaccine rollout is still on-going in the country and we feel duty bound to encourage each and everyone of you to get vaccinated.

“By getting vaccinated, not only are you protecting yourself, your family and your community but you are also protecting the most vulnerable group of people with underlying health issues that have no chance of fighting this virus.

“Remember CoVID-19 is real. Please mask up, sanitize and observe social distancing.”

The employees that qualify are asked to send proof of their vaccination card to the accounts department.

This is in what contrast to what Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has done by imposing mandatory CoVID-19 vaccination for all its employees that those not vaccinated should not be reporting for work.

MEC’s decision prompted Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) to announce that the mandatory vaccination is a violation of the employees’ rights as well as discriminatory and planned to engage the Commission over the decision.

MCTU Secretary General, Madalitso Njolomole, told the media that it is important that employers respect the rights of employees while trying to control the spread of the pandemic in the workplace.

The presidential task force on CoVID-19 is also on record having committed to meeting MEC officials over the same issue, as the government’s policy on the vaccination exercise is that the citizenry can access it on a voluntary basis.

Meanwhile, the presidential task force on CoVID-19 announced on Sunday that the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is now available in vaccination sites from Monday, August 9.

The taskforce’s co-chairperson, Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda assures the public the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — just like AstraZeneca jab — is just as safe and it has “few side effects and most of them are minor and self-limiting”.

“The side effects include pain, redness and swelling at the site of vaccination; tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea.

“These side effects happen within a day or two of getting the vaccine. They are normal signs that your body is building protection and should go away within a few days without any need of hospital treatment.

“As with any other vaccines, those that are receiving the vaccine are informed on the possible side effects of the vaccine including those that may need to be immediately reported to the health workers.

“Those that have received the vaccine are encouraged to report to the nearest health facility any adverse effects following immunization or call toll free number 929.”

As of Sunday, 463,848 people have received the first dose of AstraZeneca and 159,229 their second jab — bringing the total of 623,077 vaccine doses that has been administered so far.

“The country is anticipating more consignments of AstraZeneca vaccines in the next few weeks and those that are due for their second dose will have to wait for the same AstraZeneca vaccine to complete their vaccine course as a delay of up to 26 weeks is acceptable — therefore there is no cause for panic.”

Sunday’s situation report indicates that in the past 24 hours of Sunday, there were 23 new CoVID-19 related deaths; 221 new cases, 82 new recoveries.

There were 48 new admissions in the treatment units while 29 cases were discharged with a total of 360 active cases currently hospitalised — Blantyre and Lilongwe registering the highest at 94 and 80 respectively.

Since the outset of the pandemic, Malawi has recorded 55,920 cases and 1,828 deaths at case fatality rate of 3.27%.

Cumulatively, 41,155 cases have now recovered at recovery rate of 73.6% bringing the total number of active cases to 12,705.

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