Government through the Ministry of Health has said it will make Covid-19 vaccine mandatory for key persons including journalists and health workers, effective January 2022.

Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said the development follows the recent increase of new infections in the country and also as a way of boosting government’s vaccination campaign.

“Uptake of vaccines has not been high enough towards reaching our goal of vaccinating at least 60% of eligible Malawians by the end of next year. The vaccine remains our best preventive tool,” Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said.

Official statistics show that about 641,000 people are fully vaccinated in Malawi. This amounts to just over 3% of the population, according to Reuters.

The southern African nation has seen a spike in daily Covid infections, with 318 new cases reported this week compared to less than 20 on most days in recent weeks, it adds.

The Omicron variant was discovered in the country last week.

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