Malawi gets 192,000 AstraZeneca doses amid growing COVID-19 vaccine demand

AstraZeneca/Oxford coronavirus vaccine
AstraZeneca/Oxford coronavirus vaccine

The 192,000 doses of COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine that was expected to arrive in Malawi on July 15 finally jetted into the country Saturday through the Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe.

Malawi has had no vaccine since mid-June after the first shipment of 360,000 doses that came in early March was exhausted, with nearly 20,000 doses destroyed after they had expired.

The 192,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine come at the time the country is experiencing the third wave of the pandemic.

The country has registered a cumulative total of 48,066 COVID-19 cases and 1,458 deaths, as of Saturday, July 24.

Malawi has now switched to other types of vaccines in addition to the Oxford AstraZeneca citing the interruption in the production of the vaccine as the manufacturing country, India, underwent the worst wave of the pandemic ever.

Secretary for Health and Population Services, Charles Mwansambo, told the local media Thursday that the country will be receiving more consignments of the AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, and Pfizer vaccines between July and September.

“Apart from the 192,000 doses of AstraZeneca the country will receive 119,000 doses of more AstraZeneca vaccine before the end of July, and 302,400 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine within the next two weeks,” explained Mwansambo.

“A further, 360,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are scheduled to arrive at the end of August or early September while 372,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive before the end of September,” he said.

Recently, Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda explained the addition of the other two types of vaccines to the country’s shopping list.

“We are going to give Malawians different options. We don’t want to put ourselves in a corner where we stick to only one vaccine because when there are problems, then you have nowhere to go,” she said. Enditem

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