Minister Chiponda hails high turnout for Covid-19 vaccine


Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda says the high turnout in vaccination centres across the country today shows that Malawians are responding to the ministry’s vaccination call.

In vaccination centres such as Game Complex in Lilongwe, there was high turnout with hundreds of people queuing for a jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine.  Similar reports of long lines for the vaccines were also reported in centres across the country.

Chiponda in her statement also thanked all the health workers in the country and the leadership of the Directors of Health and Social Services for making sure that the vaccines and personnel were available in the vaccination sites.

“Let me encourage everyone that is eligible for the vaccine to ensure that they are vaccinated against COVID-19. The current vaccine stock that we have is the AstraZeneca vaccine and for one to be fully protected it requires two doses given at 12 weeks’ interval,” said Kandodo.

She also urged pregnant women to get vaccinated, saying the benefits of pregnant women getting the vaccine and being protected from Covid-19 disease far outweigh the reported increased risk of having severe disease which can lead to death amongst pregnant women.

According to Chiponda, lactating mothers can also get the vaccine and continue to breastfeed their children safely.

On alcohol, Chiponda said there is no contraindication on the uptake of alcohol and the AstraZeneca vaccine but moderate use of alcohol around the time when one gets the Covid-19 vaccine shouldn’t affect the immune response.

“It may be best to abstain for a brief period before and after vaccination.

“Guidance which applies for all vaccines is that one should refrain from alcohol 3 days after each injection. This will provide adequate time to assess oneself before and after the vaccines so that we reduce missing of any adverse effects following immunization,” said Chiponda.

Before the resumption of the vaccination exercise today, Malawi had administered 428,407 jabs. The Ministry will release today’s data on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 372 new COVID-19 cases, 203 new recoveries and 33 new deaths.

Overall, Malawi has recorded 49,009 cases including 1,513 deaths and 36,622 recoveries.