Covid-19 vaccination campaign re-launched
By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
President Hakainde Hichilema has urged Zambians to take responsibility in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic by getting vaccinated.
Speaking during the re-launch of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign at Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Lusaka today, President Hichilema said getting vaccinated is a matter of urgency for all Zambians.
Mr Hichilema said that Government has set a target to vaccinate at least 70% of the population in order to bring the pandemic under control.
“Covid-19 vaccines work, stop the notion that they are not effective, vaccination are able to save our lives and the economy, I have provided leadership at household level by getting vaccinated together with my family and it is expected that other family unit will emulate,” he said.
President Hichilema reiterated Government’s commitment to manage the Covid-19 pandemic better.
And United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Resident Coordinator Coumba Mar Gadio said the health sector forms a vital part of the overall sustainable development goals and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target cannot be achieved without a healthy population.
“Vaccines have been proven to be safe and as such countries that have rolled out massive vaccination programs have seen a reduction in the number of Covid-19 cases. Getting vaccinated is key to keep schools and places of worship open and boost the economic growth by welcoming a large number of tourists again,” she said.
Dr Gadio said that it is unfortunate that Africans still has a long way to go to achieve a vaccinated community because the vaccination rates are low.
She emphasized that the covid-19 vaccines reduces chances of contracting the virus, and called on Zambians to continue observing Covid-19 guidelines to stop the spread.
Meanwhile, Lusaka Province Minister Sheal Mulyata said the re-launch of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign has come at the right time as the country anticipates the fourth wave.
Ms Mulyata said there are various myths and misconception about the Covid-19 vaccine amongst Zambians which has caused hesitancy.
“Lusaka Province has recorded the highest number of Covid-19 cases; easily during the third wave, vaccination hesitancy by members of the public has negatively hampered the immunization program but government is hopeful that will be curbed by the re-launch,” she said.
Ms Mulyata said the re-launch of the vaccination campaign will drive and improve vaccination demand in the country.
And Health Minister Sylvia Masebo said the Ministry of Health is taking proper measures to ensure the country is ready for a possible outbreak of the 4th wave by increasing the response capacity of the country.
Ms Masebo called on members of the public who are not yet vaccinated against Covid-19 to reconsider their stance and get vaccinated.
“I want to thank the US Government for committing itself to supplying 1. 6 million doses of Covid-19 to Zambia, I also want to thank the royal highnesses for leading the way in getting vaccinated,” she said.
Ms Masebo said that all Provinces are expected to conduct their re-launches to ensure that all eligible Zambians are vaccinated.
“Our health care workers have been directed to take the vaccines closer to where people are such as markets and bus station by conducting outreach products, I want emphasize that this is not the time to drop our guard against Covid-19 even after restrictions have been lifted, we all need to strictly follow the golden rules,” she said