The Ministry of Education say learners under the age of 18 will not be vaccinated but teachers will be among workers to be prioritized for the Covid-19 vaccine.
This is according to a statement dated March 12 signed by Secretary for Health Charles Mwansambo Mr. and Mr Raphael Z.G. Agabu from the Ministry of Education.
The statement has also emphasized that Covid-19 vaccination will only be done in health facilities which belong to Ministry of Health or Christian Health Association of Malawi.
“It must be emphasized to all community leaders and school managers that no child or pupil under 18 years of age will be vaccinated, no school will be a vaccination centre, and no one will be forced or tricked to take the vaccine. All concerned communities will be informed properly when their turn for vaccination comes,” reads part of the statement.
The clarification from the two ministries comes following reports that parents in some districts are withdrawing their children from schools due to speculations that learners will be vaccinated in their respective schools along with their class teachers.
Teachers have confirmed to Malawi24 that there has been high absenteeism in schools over the past few days due to fears of the vaccine.
Malawi launched the rollout of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination programme on Thursday when President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima were vaccinated.
Malawi has about 360,000 doses of the vaccine which will first be given to health workers before being extended to other priority professions such as teachers, police officers and the military.