Zambia expects 151,200 doses of Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines

Photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a vial of its COVID-19 vaccine. /AP
Photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a vial of its COVID-19 vaccine./AP

Zambia is set to receive 151,200 doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine with the doses expected to arrive on Wednesday, a government official said on Tuesday.

Kennedy Malama, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health in charge of Technical Services, said the new consignment of vaccines will be concentrated in provinces where vaccination demand was high.

“Our plan is that this consignment will be tailored to the provinces which are fast-moving because now our strategy is that as we receive the vaccines, we ought to use them in the shortest period of time,” he said during a COVID-19 update press briefing.

Since the launch of the vaccination program on April 14, Zambia has been administering the AstraZeneca vaccine acquired through the COVAX facility, with two consignments of the vaccine received so far.

The government, he said, was encouraged with the progress made so far, with 2.8 percent of the eligible population so far receiving dose one and 0.8 percent receiving dose two.

The country has targeted to vaccinate about 8.4 million eligible people from 18 years and above as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zambia’s cumulative cases stand at 187,602 following 1,323 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours while total deaths stand at 3,138 following 25 new deaths in the last 24 hours.

Total discharges stand at 174,728 following 1,408 new discharges during the same period.