Scandal-plagued Ministry of Health censures overzealous Mwamba over vaccine statement

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THE MINISTRY of Health has asked government institutions and missions abroad to refrain from issuing statements on the COVID-19 vaccinations.

This morning, Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union Emmanuel Mwamba announced that Zambia had been allocated 8.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines under a facility being pioneered by the Africa Union.

Mwamba said the initiative was being done under the COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) a platform which has been created to ensure that upto 60% of Africa’s population were vaccinated against the Coronavirus by December 2021.

He said AVATT was created by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairperson of the African Union, in November 2020.

But in a statement this afternoon, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary-Technical services Kennedy Malama stated that cabinet was yet to sit, consider and approve the vaccine and its deployment mechanism.

Dr Malama said the ministry would only recommend to cabinet a COVID-19 vaccine which was efficacious, safe and approved by the World Health Organisation.

“We therefore urge all Government institutions including Missions abroad not to issue any statements on the vaccine until cabinet provides guidance,” he said.

Dr Malama said all statements or pronouncements on the COVID-19 vaccine would be issued by Ministry of Health in liason with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

“We further urge all the Zambians to be patient and be assured that once cabinet guides, all stakeholders will be appropriately be informed,” stated Dr Malama.

Kalemba January 24, 2021

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