The 210,000 AstraZeneca doses which were set to expire on 31 December, 2021 have been used up, the Malawi Ministry of Health has said.
Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said at a press briefing today that this has been made possible because of intensified efforts by health care workers which saw 28,000 people getting vaccinated in a single day last week.
“Fellow Malawians, allow me to recognize and applaud all our health care workers with a special mention of Health Surveillance Assistance HSA, community leaders and our all-weather partners for facilitating this success story, yet again. Together, we have done it again. It remains for us to scale up these initiatives in the coming year, and to innovate even more to reach everyone who is eligible for the available vaccinations,” said Kandodo Chiponda.
Malawi at present has nearly 700,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine and 400,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines. According to Chiponda, the ministry is also expecting 388,000 doses of J&J, 396,000 doses of AstraZeneca as well as 714,000 doses of Pfizer within the first quarter of 2022.
She added that all districts are currently stocked with adequate amounts of J & J on top of AstraZeneca for all eligible persons that have never been vaccinated.
Starting on 1st of January 2022, vaccination of teenagers aged 12-17 years will be starting. The vaccine will be delivered through the usual static and outreach clinics in the country.
“We urge parents and guardians to please make use of this chance to make sure that their children are also protected. I would like to inform you all that a booster dose is not yet policy but discussions are underway and the nation will be informed on the outcome accordingly. We want more people to have a dose or two before we can commence boosters,” said Chiponda.
In Malawi, 1,090,568 and 394,922 people have received the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively whilst 292,372 have received Johnson and Johnson. Cumulatively, 687,294 people are fully vaccinated.
Malawi has so far recorded 73,238 cases of COVID-19, including 66,655 cases (91%) recorded this year. Since the pandemic started in this country, 2,350 people have died due to COVID-19 and out of these 2,161 deaths occurred this year alone.