The health ministry yesterday announced that while vaccination sites are inundated with queries and demands from first-timers who request the AstraZeneca vaccine, the recently arrived doses are strictly for the administration of outstanding second jabs.
Health ministry executive director Ben Nangombe said although the country received 75 000 AstraZeneca doses from the Netherlands, “the ministry appreciates the increased demand for the vaccination, but remains mindful of the need for individuals who have already received the first dose to complete their vaccination schedules and be vaccinated for enhanced protection.”
He added the ministry is guiding the districts to prioritise clients who come for the second doses for AstraZeneca only.
“Other eligible clients should be encouraged to take Sinopharm vaccines instead, which is available in adequate quantities and equally effective. Vaccinators should prioritise clients being at risk of Covid-19 infection, severe diseases, hospitalisation, and death, such as persons with comorbidities, people over 60 years of age and persons with disabilities,” he said.
Nangombe, however, clarified doses of AstraZeneca remaining at the end of each day or session should not be wasted but rather be administered to the first-timers on the basis of availability to ensure that every single dose is used up, as no person should be turned away without vaccination.