The Malawi Health Equity Network (MEHN) has called on for Malawians who got the dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to go for a second jab, this amid reports of low uptake.
The has been low patronage in the second phase with the COVID-19 Presidential Taskforce report indicating that on 7 June no Malawian got a second jab.
In an interview with MEHN executive director George Jobe, said Malawians and the Ministry of Health need to be mindful of third wave.
“Our advice to Malawi and Ministry of Health is that COVID-19 is still among us and killing people. We need to be mindful of the third wave in Zambia and South Africa and also be cautious to the Indian variant of coronavirus which is now amidst us.
“We need to continue intensifying awareness raising activities, and observing all the preventative measures such as wearing face masks, washing hands with soap, observing social and physical distances among many others,” he said.
Jobe added that Malawi needs to take COVID-19 as an opportunity to build a strong health system.
“When it comes to the COVID-19, we need to take it as an opportunity to build national protection through head immunity, government should continue to provide clarifications on negative information circulating in social media about the vaccine for Malawians to be well informed and get Vaccinated,” he added.
According to recent statistics from the Ministry of Health, in the past 24 hours 744 people have received the second dose.
Co-Chairperson of the Taskforce Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda urged pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to get the jab as they are likely to get severe illness once hit by the pandemic.
“If you are pregnant you can receive a Covid-19 vaccine. Getting a vaccine during pregnancy can protect you from severe illness from Covid-19.
“Similarly, lactating mothers will equally benefit form the vaccines for the same reasons and there is no risk of transmission through breast milk because all the vaccines being used presently, none of them have the virus in it,” further reads the statements.
Cumulatively, 363,928 people have received the first dose while 763 people have received the second.