Africa

Zambia receives over 222,000 more COVID jabs to vaccinate children

Washington donates shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses via COVAX amid campaign to immunize children over 12 years old

James Kunda   | 13.01.2022
Zambia receives over 222,000 more COVID jabs to vaccinate children

LUSAKA, Zambia 

An additional 222,300 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine arrived in Zambia this week to boost an ongoing program to get jabs in the arms of children aged 12 to 18, said a statement on Thursday.

The vaccines were purchased and donated by the US through the COVAX initiative as part of efforts by Washington to rapidly expand vaccine coverage, according to a statement by the US Embassy in the capital Lusaka.

Authorities in the Southern African nation started vaccinating children against the coronavirus last December in a campaign steadily gaining momentum.

In a recent virtual press conference Health Ministry official Kalangwa Kalangwau underlined that achieving herd immunity would be "key in winning the fight against COVID-19."

"I want to assure parents that Pfizer (vaccine) is safe for children and protects them from infection," Kalangwa said.

The country's Health Ministry on Thursday reported 2,167 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total to 291,582. The death count stands at 3,834 after four additional fatalities.

Of the total 8.4 million people eligible for vaccination in Zambia, 1.4 million have been fully vaccinated, according to official figures.

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