Cabinet has finally given a go ahead for the procurement of the COVAX facility commonly known as the corona virus vaccine to be aided by the United Nations family and the World Health Organization-WHO.
Health Minister Jonas Chanda has announced in Lusaka today, that the approved vaccines which will be implemented in a cautious and phased up manner, targets persons aged 18 and above as a priority population.
Dr Chanda adds that over 3-million people are earmarked to benefit from the first round of dose.
He explained that the front liners will be among the first to benefit together with other essential workers such as the security personnel and the cross border traders.
He said Cabinet guided by President Edgar Lungu took its time making consultations and monitoring the global trends before arriving at the conclusion to ensure the safety of Zambians.
The minister further noted that the move aims to mitigate the socio-economic impact that the country is currently facing and to maintain a health human resource.
He has since assured the nation that no harm will be inflicted on any citizen, as the necessary safety measures have all been taken.
He also asked the media, traditional leaders as well as the church to help in sensitizing the community on the importance of the vaccine.
He has however highlighted that the other part of the COVAX facility will be facilitated by the government with private sector involvement.
The Minister has also bemoaned that some COVID-19 patients have been known to flee health facilities whilst undergoing treatment, a situation he described as detrimental to health adding that the ill practice has led to loss of life thereby reversing the gains made so far.
The minister was quick to advise against such bad tendencies. And Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Kennedy Malama says his office is in consultation with the UN Family and other stakeholders on the procurement process and other technicalities involved.
Dr Malama said the nation will be kept informed on the progression of the process.
The presser was preceded by a moment of silence, in honor of the former Secretary to the Cabinet Rowland Msiska who died as a result of COVID-19 related complications.
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