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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Malawi Govt Should Stop Rubbishing Reports On Side Effects of AstraZeneca Vaccine


I think Malawi government should slow down its spree of outrightly dismissing and rubbishing reports on side effects of AstraZeneca vaccine which has prompted several European countries to suspend the vaccine’s rolling programme. The correct position ought to have been that they will independently monitor the situation in our local context and the assurance that the vaccine underwent control trials and was declared safe and efficacious.

It is, however, important that the government is seen to be communicating accurately on very sensitive health matters. I appreciate to the letter that the focus of our government is on giving confidence to Malawians that the vaccine is safe– but that should not be to, at all cost, disregard observations made elsewhere or to man own monitoring of the vaccine. We all know, not any vaccine has 100% efficacy and 0% side effects, and so the government would be within the cloak of reasonable expectation to put it to us that they will be monitoring the situation.

What we hear, however, is government officials branding suspension of the vaccine in various european countries as ‘politics of the vaccine’. Today, Africa’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention will assemble an independent team of experts to scrutinise the progress of the vaccine in the African context.

Let’s remember it’s important to take the vaccine as vaccination is our century’s greatest public health intervention, according to the US’ center for disease control.

But again, correct framing of our communication is key; Men are mostly held accountable on the account of their own words!

If we outrightly dismiss the reports, posterity may laugh at us. Let’s continue BUT monitor.

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