Elderly persons shun Covid-19 vaccine in Mzuzu

Only one person out of the 34-member Thula Older Persons Association in Mzuzu has received Covid-19 vaccine, with those shunning the jab blaming lack of information to debunk myths and misconceptions.

It has been revealed that some older persons above 60 years of age in Mzuzu City are refusing to get the covid-19 vaccination jab blaming lack of information to debunk myths and misconceptions as well as difficulties of access to vaccination centres in the city.

This was established after the Mzuzu Media Communication for Change (MMCC) visited Thula Older Persons Association at Masasa location in Mzuzu to interact with them on challenges they are facing during the covid-19 pandemic period.

James Mwabumba Munthali from Thula Village in Masasa in the outskirts of Mzuzu City is the odd one out from the 34 member Thula Older Persons Association.

The 62-year-old is the only member of the association who has received the covid-19 vaccination jab despite all members being eligible.

“The time I was having vaccination I didn’t feel anything at all and up to now there is nothing am feeling, to my fellow elders I want to encourage them to go and have this vaccination, this vaccine is just like any other vaccine we had before.

” I decided to get the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine at Mapale Health Centre because I believe despite all the myths and misconceptions floating in the air around our community, it will help to protect me from Covid-19,” said Munthali.

Chairperson for Thula Older Persons Association Dennis Zgambo said some of the members have difficulties to access vaccination centres in the city.

“We would like if at all the Health department could give us centers or clinics around here whereby we can manage to move and access the vaccines from medical personnel, because some of our members can’t travel long distances as some are poor while some are unable to walk, sick and even can’t move,” said Zgambo.

In a recent interview, Ministry of health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said government has made provisions of motorcycles to health personnel administering vaccinations to reach out to vulnerable persons who do not have easy access to vaccination facilities.

At the end of the interaction, the Mzuzu Media Communication for Change (MMCC) provided 40 face masks, buckets, hand wash soap and hand sanitizers to the group with funding from AfriAus ileac Inc, an Australian based organization comprising of Africans in the diaspora.

As of Thursday 1st April 2021, over 144,000 people had already received their first vaccination doses since the exercise was launched, targeting health and social workers, older persons above 60, people with underlying illnesses and those at high risk of contracting the coronavirus.