World, Africa

Zambia immunizes Chinese expats with Sinopharm vaccines

138,799 Zambians get AstraZeneca COVID-19 jabs as vaccine drive's 1st phase targeting 3.6M people above 18 continues

James Kunda  | 25.05.2021 - Update : 25.05.2021
Zambia immunizes Chinese expats with Sinopharm vaccines

LUSAKA, Zambia

Zambia announced on Tuesday that the country has vaccinated all Chinese expatriates living in the country with Sinopharm doses provided by Beijing.

China had provided 13,600 vaccines for its nationals and promised to donate 100,000 more for Zambians. However, the additional Sinopharm vaccines have yet to be delivered to the Southern African nation.

Kennedy Malama, a senior official from the Ministry of Health, said in a statement released in the capital Lusaka that 138,799 Zambians have received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX facility in the first phase.

During the first phase of the vaccination campaign, 20% of the population, or 3.6 million people over the age of 18, were meant to get shots.

However, midway through the vaccination exercise, which started last month, Zambia had to limit shots due to rising demand in India, a source said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the media.

“To date, the Sinopharm vaccination has been paused as all individuals scheduled to receive their second dose have been vaccinated. On the AstraZeneca front, we paused and have been reconciling data, which will be completed this week and overall status ascertained,” he said.

Zambia currently has reported 93,428 COVID-19 cases, including one of the latest Indian variants, and 1,271 deaths.

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