Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya said the government has made strides with cooperating partners to introduce vaccines in the fight against the pandemic, adding that the country was on firm ground to introduce the vaccines.
He said during a COVID-19 update press briefing that the government has had an approval from the COVAX, a global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries’ facility, and engaged various cooperating partners to introduce the vaccines.
“Government will continue forging partnerships with the cooperating partners to ensure that evidence that is adduced and verified to benefit the response is included in our response. We have engaged with various cooperating partners and we are firmly on track to start vaccinating during the course of February,” he said.
He further dispelled speculations from some politicians in the country that the COVID-19 vaccines have been developed to create diseases in order to wide out the African population.
He said the introduction of vaccines in the country follows international standards which stipulates subjecting the vaccines to thorough scrutiny before being administered to people.
According to him, the introduction of the vaccines was meant to protect as many people as possible from contracting COVID-19.
The government, he said, was concerned with the current surge in cases during the second wave which has resulted in severity of cases.
According to him, the second wave has been fueled by failure to adhere to preventive health regulations and warned that the government will be forced to introduce tough measures if people continue disregarding the health guidelines.
The Zambian minister said investigations have established that most of the patients contracted the disease after attending events where there were huge crowds of people.
Zambia has seen a surge in new cases in recent weeks with the cumulative cases standing at 21,993 and 398 deaths.