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Local scientists maintain confidence in AstraZeneca as vaccination rolls out

The authorities are maintaining confidence over the safety of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine as its administration among healthcare and social workers gets underway today.

On Sunday, The Netherlands joined the list of countries that are suspending the AstraZeneca vaccine following reports of unexpected side effects from the jab.

Several European countries have halted administration of the vaccine following growing reports of recipients developing blood clots.

However, local immunisation specialists insist that so far the international reports have not shown a conclusive direct link between the said side effects and the vaccine.

Ministry of Health Immunisation Programmes Manager, Mike Chisema, stresses that his team’s prevailing decision is dependent on the vaccine’s benefits outweighing its side effects.

“It’s not very strange for any drug to have a bit side effects whether very severe or unsevere,” Chisema said.

He added that what has happened in Europe is temporary.

“Should there be anything within the country from those that have received the vaccine, somehow we will also be able making a similar decision,”Chisema stressed.

Commenting on the fears that some people in the country are having, President of the Society of Medical Doctors Victor Mithi, who was privileged to receive the jab last week along with President Lazarus Chakwera confirms that he is well after taking the vaccine.

 

“So far we haven’t received any complaint of any adverse effects. In fact after the jab I have been very fine and I have strongly continued with my duties including presiding over the public lecture that happened yesterday at crossroads. Therefore while we continue to monitor the post vaccination events, I can testify that the jab is safe,”Mithi said.

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Meanwhile, vaccination of health and various social workers has started on a high note in Blantyre.

“We would like to thank the government for prioritising us to receive the vaccine and ensuring that we should be protected, so that we can do our work better,” said Gift Kawalazira, Director of Health and Social Services at the Blantyre District Health Office.

Capital FM this morning witnessed over 30 public and privately employed health workers and security personnel receiving the jab at the Gateway Clinic and Limbe Health Centre vaccination sites.

Kawalazira has disclosed that Blantyre DHO has been allocated some 27,000 vaccine doses.

 

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