The Government of India has donated to Malawi 50 000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, bringing the number of doses shipped into the country to 410 000.
The Indian consignment arrived Friday evening through the Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, a week after the arrival of 360 000 doses via Covax facility—a global initiative aimed at securing vaccines for poor countries.
Presenting the donation to the Ministry of Health, India High Commission attache Subramanian Vasan said the vaccine is aimed at protecting frontline workers.
Government has, among others, identified health care workers, security agents, teachers, journalists and the elderly as priority groups to receive the vaccine.
“This is a gift to meet the immediate requirements of vaccinating health workers and front workers. The vaccine has been donated on humanitarian grounds as a gesture of friendship and solidarity between the two countries,” said Vasan.
Deputy Health Minister Chrissie Kalamula Kanyasho said the donation will help increase the number of beneficiaries with 50 000 expected to be immunised.
“The Covax facility will assist our country with 20 percent of our Covid-19 vaccines. It means they will assist us with vaccines to vaccinate over 3.8 million people.
“This means there is still a gap in terms of doses of vaccines which our country needs. That is why I am happy and we thank the Government of India for the 50 000 doses of the vaccine,” she said.
Malawi rolled out the vaccination campaign on Thursday with President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice-President Saulos Chilima and their spouses taking their first jabs in Zomba and Mzuzu respectively
As of Friday, there had been 32 764 positive Covid-19 cases since the first case was discovered in April last year. So far, there are 25 422 recoveries and 1 079 deaths.