Today’s situation report
* Just 24,828 fully vaccinated since February 1, bringing total at 800,554 people having had their jabs as of today, February 22
* CoVID-19 cases still being registered in the country on a daily basis— presidential taskforce
* As of yesterday Monday, 40 patients were in CoVID-19 treatment units across the country
* Today Tuesday, 34 active cases are currently hospitalised with Blantyre as highest at 20
By Duncan Mlanjira
The presidential taskforce on CoVID-19 continues to encourage people to get vaccinated as there appears to be some waning confidence in some sections of the public due to vaccine hesitancy.
Thus the taskforce — through its co-chairperson, Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda in her situation report today, Tuesday — reminds everyone that the vaccines reduce the risk of developing severe disease, hospitalization and even death when one contracts CoVID-19.
Most new CoVID-19 cases, related death and new admissions are from people not vaccinated.
As of the evening of January, there were 775,726 people who were registered as fully vaccinated, representing just an increase of 24,828 as in the past 24 hours, the total figure is at 800,554.
So far, a total of 1,916,635 vaccine doses have been administered since the exercise was rolled out in February last year — with 1,098,898 have received the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and 399,078 their second.
Those who have so far taken their one off dose of Johnson and Johnson are at 400,607 with 17,183 having had first dose of Pfizer vaccine and 869 people their second.
Over the past 24 hours, just 532 people have received the Johnson and Johnson, 627 first Pfizer dose and 198 people their second, bringing that total of 800,554 fully vaccinated.
In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 10 new CoVID-19 cases, 267 new recoveries and one new death from Mangochi who was not vaccinated.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Malawi has recorded 85,238 cases including 2,609 deaths at case fatality rate of 3.06% with 2,829 being imported infections and 82,409 locally transmitted.
Cumulatively, 74,982 cases have now recovered at recovery rate of 87.97% and 232 were lost to follow-up — bringing the total number of active cases to 7,415.
In the past 24 hours, there were three new admissions and eight new discharges from the treatment units with 34 active cases currently hospitalised — Blantyre having the highest at 20; five in Lilongwe, two each in Mangochi, Chiradzulu and Karonga, and one each in Zomba, Mulanje, and Machinga districts.
All new admissions are not vaccinated, thus giving the presidential taskforce the concerns on the waning confidence in some sections of the public on vaccine hesitancy.
“It is therefore important that we vaccinate those that are aged 12 years and above so as to benefit from the impact of the vaccine but also facilitate herd immunity,” Kandodo Chiponda said in her situation report.
She added that the reluctance toward vaccination is coming due to various beliefs including those influenced by religion as “some religious teachings prioritize prayers over medicine, thus resulting in vaccination hesitancy among devotees”.
“This is coupled with the lack of appropriate knowledge of the available vaccines for different health conditions, thus making devotees accept alternative approaches such as use of holy water and prayers to treat diseases.
“Fear of vaccination may lead to the death of their children but the good thing is that the majority of religious leaders in the country are in the forefront ensuring that their members get the COVID-19 vaccines, which is quite commendable because they have the right knowledge on the efficacy of vaccination which has been established with medical and scientific basis.
“They are able to convey the message to their members that vaccination helps in preventing hospitalizations and deaths brought about by CoVID-19.
Two weeks ago, Blantyre Synod of Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) brought together its church leaders where they were inspired to spread the positives of being vaccinated against CoVID-19 amongst their members during congregations.
In his opening remarks of the one-day workshop, organised by Church & Society at Grace Bandawe Conference Centre, CCAP’s Blantyre Synod general secretary Rev. Billy Gama emphasized that they decided to engage the church leaders from all presbyterians to enhance government’s campaign for positive uptake of the CoVID-19 vaccination which is available for free.
Rev. Gama impressed on the participants to lead by example if they have not already received their jabs and spread the message amongst their flock that CoVID-19 is real but the vaccination exercise currently underway is helping to contain it.
“There is a lot of misconceptions that is being spread through social media and it is up to us to dispel those false messages that seems to appeal to people not to get vaccinated,” he had said.
“We are lucky that we attract huge gatherings every Sunday to preach the the Lord’s Gospel. They believe in us when we preach the Gospel and thus they will in turn believe in us if we teach of the positives of getting vaccinated.
“The numbers of people that are vaccinated against the supply of vaccines still available does not tally, showing that people are shunning this very important exercise which the government rolled out a long time ago.”
The Health Minister emphasized in her situation report that “vaccines work by allowing the immune system of the body to recognize, fight and destroy the coronavirus when exposed”.