Malawi will require a total of 114 million U.S. dollars to vaccinate the country’s population of 18 million against COVID-19, Minister of Health and Population Services, Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda has disclosed.

The Minister told Parliament Wednesday that the amount includes the cost of the vaccine, AstraZeneca, which Malawi has settled for, and all logistics involved in the implementation process.

Earlier in the month, Malawi President, Lazarus Chakwera, announced that his government had settled for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine out of at least 8 types of vaccines available.

The president said through AU’s Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), under the COVAX initiative, Malawi will, by the end of February, acquire the first consignment of 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, enough to cover 750,000 people.

The Malawi leader added that there will be additional consignments coming into the country to vaccinate up to 3.8 million people as a matter of urgency.

Recently, the president announced that through the AU, the country will acquire 100,000 additional AstraZeneca vaccines especially for health workers.

“Health workers must be first in line because they are our last line of defense: They put their lives at risk to save lives every day and they share in the devastation we feel from losing loved ones to this virus,” said Chakwera in his recent weekly update on COVID-19.

The pandemic’s prevalence rate in Malawi continues to decline with the current positivity rate slightly below 15 percent from 21 percent earlier in the month.

Since Malawi registered the first cases of COVID-19 in April 2020, over 1,000 people, including cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, traditional chiefs, and scholars, have died, with over 800 of the people having died in January and February alone. Enditem

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