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Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi pleads with Swazis to ignore international media reports and accept AstraZeneca vaccines

Saturday, 13th March, 2021

MBABANE: Lizzie Nkosi, the Minister of Health has urged Swazis to ignore international media reports and accept the AstraZeneca vaccines that were rejected in other countries.

This comes after the international widely reported that several European countries including Denmark and Norway have suspended the rolling out of the AstraZeneca vaccines after blood clots were found in people who have been vaccinated, the same vaccines were rejected in South Africa after health experts discovered that its low efficacy could not prevent the variant.

Addressing the Nation during a press conference held at the Cabinet Offices on Saturday in Mbabane, the Health Minister urged the Nation not to pay attention to such reports.

The Minister shared these sentiments shortly after receiving another batch of 12 000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine from the global COVAX facility with the assistance of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Children Fund (Unicef). 

“The media reports usually focus on a single incident, we need tangible scientific evidence in order to link such incidents to this AstraZeneca vaccine. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Centres for Disease Control encourage us to use this vaccine as it works against the virus, taking the vaccine will prevent a lot of Emaswati from being admitted to hospitals for a lengthy period and further reduce the number of COVID-19 deaths. Our aim as a country and the Ministry of Health is to save more lives in the midst of the pandemic,” she said.

Esmeralda Hernandez Aragones, the European Union Ambassador to the Kingdom of eSwatini said they support the health of the citizens of Eswatini adding that the EU has contributed 2.2 billion Euros to assist underdeveloped countries to have access to health services.

“The European Union is at the bottom of this initiative and has already contributed 2.2 billion Euros (E 39.3 billion) to provide the facilities for all the underdeveloped countries in the world to have access to health services,” said the Ambassador.

Bheki Mamba, the President of the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) in an earlier interview with this Swaziland News said the AstraZeneca vaccine was approved by the WHO but it was later discovered that it had a low efficacy .He said they didn’t have any problem with vaccinating the population, however, as nurses they needed a vaccine with high efficacy so they can be protected in their line of duty.

Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi pleads with Swazis to ignore international media reports and accept AstraZeneca vaccines
Heath Minister Lizzie Nkosi