Zambia is expected to receive the second batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines this month as the country ramps up its response to the third wave of the pandemic, a government official said on Tuesday.

The country will receive 108,000 doses of AstraZeneca under the COVAX Facility on June 21.

Zambia received the first batch of 228,000 AstraZeneca vaccines in April which were used in the first phase of the vaccination program targeting health workers and other people most at risk.

Kennedy Malama, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health in charge of Technical Services, said the second batch will supplement the vaccines assigned for the second dose recipients as well as those yet to receive the first dose.

The second dose was expected to resume on June 23.

Meanwhile, the official said the government will be completing the recruitment of 766 health care workers this week to ease the burden on the current workforce due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

According to him, the increasing number of patients being admitted to various health facilities was putting pressure on the bed space, medical supplies and oxygen.

The country’s cumulative cases currently stood at 101,996 following 1,231 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours from 10,115 tests done. Enditem

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