POPULARISE COVID-19 VACCINE
HERE is need for more Zambians to buy into accessing the Covid-19 vaccine if we are to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
With the third wave now confirmed, it is up to individuals to ensure that they are protected from infection.
According to the Centre for Diseases Control (CDC), the risk of severe illness and death from Covid-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity.
A Covid-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness.
Stopping the spread of COVID means slowing mutations of the virus too. Every time the virus spreads to a new person, it has the chance to mutate. The vaccine gives us a much better chance at getting Covid-19 case levels to a manageable level so we could see more places reopen and see the restrictions lessen.
According to the CDC, if a person is exposed to the coronavirus or a mutation of it, a fully vaccinated person — two weeks after the second shot of Pfizer or Moderna, or single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — is 94 percent less likely to be hospitalised compared to an unvaccinated individual.
In addition to having a significantly lower risk of catching Covid-19, a vaccine could help reduce long-term symptoms if you have already had the virus. According to Judd, health professionals are hearing that some people with lingering coronavirus symptoms see easing of symptoms following vaccination.
Government has done its part in establishing a National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme and the onus is now on individuals to embrace the fact that coronavirus is here to stay.
The Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) recently announced that they have now approved five Covid-19 vaccines for use in the country.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services, Kennedy Malama, said this followed stringent review processes undertaken and riding on the World Health Organisation emergency use listing of the vaccines.
“Sinopharm (Vero Cells), Jansen (Johnson & Johnson), AstraZeneca Covishield, AZD 1222 5 – Korean AstraZeneca and the Pfizer Biotech,” Dr. Malama said.
He also pointed out that the Covid-19 vaccination programme remains paused until 23rd June, 2021 when those who received the first dose will start receiving the second one.
News that Britain and China have donated vaccinations to the country is encouraging. With China having donated 100,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine to Zambia that will benefit 50,000 people.
Babies are regularly vaccinated in this country it is mind boggling that some people think vaccination is a tool being used to drive Covid-19 infections.
There are reports that some pregnant women are shunning clinic visits for fear of being forcibly vaccinated.
More sensitisation is required around the vaccination programme to ensure nation-wide protection.
Meanwhile, Dr. Malama has disclosed that Covid-19 cases have continued to rise with the country recording 742 new cases in the last 24 hours.
“Today there is no doubt that Zambia is experiencing the much dreaded Covid-19 Third wave. The rate of new Covid19 cases and increase in admissions to our hospitals has become very worrying to all of us,” he said.
Speaking during the routine Covid-19 update in Lusaka yesterday, Dr. Malama said the country has recorded two Covid-19 deaths; at Levy Mwanawasa isolation centre in Lusaka and the other at the University Teaching Hospital.
“I wish to reiterate that the battle against COVID-19 will be won at the community level. We can achieve this by adhering to the simple yet effective five golden rules: 1) Mask up correctly and consistently; 2) Maintain physical distance; 3) Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer; 4) Avoid crowded places if possible, particularly super spreader events, or stay at home; and 5) Seek medical attention early if you are symptomatic.”
He said the cumulative number of Covid-19 related deaths recorded from March last year when the pandemic broke out in Zambia to date is now 1,284.
The rise in numbers, though expected, is worrying.
It is equally disturbing that some sectors of society are claiming the covid-19 figures are being inflated to prevent them from holding mass assemblies.
Indeed, the fight against Covid-19 is at community level and we must play our part in encouraging vaccination against Covid-19 and avoidance of another lock down if the numbers continue to surge.
POPULARISE COVID-19 VACCINE