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Malawi Launches New Covid-19 Vaccination Campaign Amid Rising Cases


Blantyre, Malawi — The Malawi government and the World Health Organization launched a new COVID-19 vaccination campaign on Monday in 10 of the country’s 29 districts. This is partly in response to new cases confirmed in the past three weeks in several districts across the country.

Nsanje District in southern Malawi currently leads in the number of COVID-19 cases recorded this year.

George Mbotwa, spokesperson for the district health office, said the district has registered 17 new cases in the past three weeks and some are health workers.

“Initially there were two, but we had up to eight cases that were health workers,” he said. “Some of them have now been confirmed as negative, and others are being followed up to ensure that they are fully recovered before they can resume work.”

By Monday, Malawi cumulatively recorded 89,202 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 2,686 deaths, since the first cases were confirmed in the country in April 2020.

Malawi’s Ministry of Health says the new vaccination campaign will help boost the number of people getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination rates in some areas of Malawi are as low as 40%.

It also says the WHO-funded campaign would help avoid waste of the vaccine as was the case in 2020 when the government destroyed nearly 20,000 expired AstraZeneca doses.

Many of those doses expired due to vaccine hesitancy amid concerns of its safety and efficacy.

However, recent government public health campaigns on the importance of COVID-19 shots have helped defeat that hesitancy.