A renowned health rights campaigner has cautioned government to tread carefully when administering the Oxford Astra-Zeneca Covid-19 vaccine as research has established that the vaccine is not effective towards the new Covid-19 variant.

This follows a recent research conducted by South African Scientists which has revealed Astra-Zeneca is not effective towards the new variant a development that has forced the South African government to suspend administering the vaccine.

However in a televised address on Sunday Night, Malawi Leader Lazarus Chakwera insisted that Malawi will proceed to administer the vaccine as it has multiple benefits.

But in an interview, Maziko Matemba, a health rights expert has asked government to conduct thorough research on the vaccine’s effectiveness before it is administered on citizens.

“We need to hear from local scientists who should be able to test this vaccine as others are doing. There are also environmental aspects that need to be looked at including with the help of Malawian office of the WHO’’ said Matemba.

According to Chakwera, about 750,000 people have been earmarked to receive the vaccine whose first consignment will arrive this month.

At the moment Chakwera has said that the African Union is facilitating the logistics for Malawi to receive its first consignment of the 1.5 million doses.

He has since said that government is weighing the other options on some vaccines that are available for use.

At the moment, Dr. John Phuka, Co-Chairperson of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid19 has said the matter is being looked into and the way forward is due to be made known.


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