Ministry of Health says Covid-19 vaccine will undergo normal approval process in Malawi to ensure safety to recipients.
Secretary of Health Dr Charles Mwansambo said this in a statement dated January 15.
There have been concerns over the safety of the vaccine following revelations that government has signed an indemnity agreement with the manufacturers.
But Mwansambo advised people to safeguard themselves from social media misinformation including conspiracy theories which he said tend to cause undue panic.
He assured people that once the vaccine is made available for Malawi, the rightful information will be shared with the general public so that people can benefit from the intervention.
“The general public should be assured that, just like any vaccine that are being provided through our Expanded Program on Immunization, COVID-19 vaccine will also undergo the normal approval process by the regulatory authorities to ensure safety of our people,” he said.
He further said that having people in the country immunized with COVID-19 vaccine has the potential to protect masses and mostly the at risk groups such as the elderly, the sick (patients with comorbidities) and frontline health and social workers.
Malawi is in the planning phase to procure and introduce COVID-19 vaccine beginning with 20 percent of the population which includes the elderly, those with comorbidities and frontline health and social workers.
According to Mwansambo, it will take a minimum of three months from now to have this vaccine in the country as the application processes are still underway and government is also mobilizing resources to procure more doses of the vaccines.
“As a country, we will also be looking for more resources to procure vaccines for the remaining members of our population however this is likely to take a bit time because the vaccine candidates befitting our cold chain management system are limited but also the global supply challenges are likely to delay us,” he said.
Malawi has registered 11,785 cases including 300 deaths and 5,992 recoveries.