At a time AstraZeneca vaccine has divided opinions in the country, it has emerged that some parents, in sheer fear of the vaccine, are withdrawing their children from schools.
In an interview, some education authorities in the Northern Region have confirmed that they are registering high absenteeism rates following speculations that learners will be vaccinated in their respective schools along with their class teachers.
In Mzimba at Chongorwa primary school, the head teacher, Gilbert Soko, confided in this reporter that besides high absenteeism rates at his school, learners who report for classes treat every stranger with raised eyebrows.
“So, it’s drama. Any visitor is suspected and, learners, sometimes, run from their classes for fear of being vaccinated,” he said.
“We’ve tried to sensitize them on the issue regarding the vaccine but, it seems, they’re compromised by speculations they hear in their respective homes.”
At Chibwaka in Nkhatabay, just like in other schools in Rumphi, Karonga, Mzuzu and Chitipa, similar stories are being told. Learners are shunning classes for fear of Corona virus vaccine.
Some parents in Mzuzu are justifying their decision to withdraw learners from schools for fear of the vaccination by speculating that the vaccine has proven, in other countries, to be hazardous to life.
“News reports indicate that the same virus has been suspended in Europe and Asia on grounds that it results into multiple health problems. I’m afraid. I’d rather die of Coronavirus than with the vaccine,” said Amosi Chirwa, resident of Zolozolo.
International media is reporting that the vaccine is causing, among other problems, blood clotting and loss of memory.
Similar vaccine was suspended in South Africa owing to its ineffectiveness.
In Malawi, on the other hand, both the president and his vice, Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima respectively are recommending the vaccine and have since urged Malawians to take it without fear.