Faced with a poor response to Covid-19 vaccines in the country, the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 says it has devised measures to boost uptake of the vaccine and protect lives.
Briefing journalists in Lilongwe yesterday, Minister of Information Gospel Kazako, who is a member of the task force, said while the vaccination is not mandatory, people should always remember that lives are being lost.
He said people need to get vaccinated to help fight the pandemic which has affected the country in various ways.
Kazako said: “It has been observed that while the number of people that have received the vaccine is increasing, it is increasing at a slow pace to achieve a level of coverage that would offer the Malawi community protection.”
He said the task force has come up with measures that would help increase vaccine uptake and protect Malawians from the pandemic.
The minister said the taskj force will intensify initiatives to increase awareness and take the vaccine to people, especially in rural areas, through establishment o f non – traditional vaccination sites.
“He said people will be encouraged to get vaccinated and to comply with recommended preventive measures such as use of face masks, frequent washing of hands and use of sanitisers.
Ka z ako al so sa id government is working on reviewing restrictions on indoor and outdoor events in the face of declining Covid-19 active cases.
He said the task force has recommended that football supporters who have been fully vaccinated be given room to watch football games.
On his part, Ministry of Health Principal Secretary . Charles Mwansambo said
restrictions on public gatherings have not changed
He said for indoor activities, the figure is 100 people and 250 for outdoor events.
Mwansambo said everyone should take responsibility in observing restrictions and protecting their lives and others.
Malawi targets to vaccinate 11 million people or 60 percent of the population of 18.5 million to achieve herd immunity.
But World Hea l th Organisation data shows that Malawi is among countries that have failed to vaccinatye 10 percent of their populations against Covid-19 by end of September.
To date, Malawi has vaccinate about 475 000, representing a paltry 4.3 percent of the population.
In Af rica, just 13 of the 54 countries have managed to beat the WHO target with Seychelles topping the table at 72 percent uptake by the targeted population.
Closer home, South Africa has vaccinated 12 percent of the population, Zimbabawe 13 percent, Mozambique 10.66 percent, Zambia 3.36 percent and Tanzania just 0.57 percent.