Zambia has received a second batch of 151,200 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine from the US as part of a dose-sharing system through the UN COVAX facility.
Ministry of Health permanent secretary in charge of technical services, Kennedy Malama, said it is the second batch delivered in the space of one week.
“The government has placed a premium on COVID-19 vaccine mobilization and the 4.4 million doses procured by the government are expected in the country within this quarter,” Malama said after viewing the arrival of the consignment aboard an Emirates Airlines flight at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in the capital, Lusaka.
The first batch contained a similar consignment, with the US Embassy in Zambia announcing that the US allocated to Zambia $28 million worth of support to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Malama said the vaccine program had contributed greatly to case management as Zambia targeted a reduced positivity rate of less than 5% in daily cases recorded.
Apart from Johnson and Johnson, other vaccines, namely Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer are also being administered to an eligible adult population of about 3.6 million.
He said the country had administered 118,083 full vaccination doses for the AstraZeneca jab, 19,673 for Johnson and Johnson and 6,899 for the first dose of Sinopharm, with 6,336 receiving the second dose of the Chinese allocated shot.
“For Zambia, vaccination for COVID-19 is voluntary but we urge members of the public to consider getting vaccinated as the vaccine induces immunity which reduces the chances of getting infected but more importantly getting severe disease and dying from COVID-19,” he said.
Zambia’s number of confirmed cases recorded is 193,432, with 3,338 deaths and 183,957 recoveries.
There are 6,137 active cases.
Malama said testing for COVID-19 remains a high impact intervention in surveillance work as the ministry continues addressing various issues that may affect levels of testing nationwide.