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Health crisis: Government racing against time to procure second doses of AstraZeneca vaccine for the elderly.

Friday, 9th April, 2021

MBABANE: Bheki Mamba, the President of the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) said government needs to secure more doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine within the next two weeks.

This comes after Senator Lizzie Nkosi, the Minister of Health in a statement released on Friday said the country was expecting 500 000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and they were yet to confirm their delivery date. The Minister also revealed that the 32 000 doses which the country received in March were depleted during the vaccination of the elderly which began last week.

Speaking to this Swaziland News on Friday, the SWADNU President said government was only left with two weeks to procure the vaccines since by then the elderly would need to take the second jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“We are expecting that those who received the AstraZeneca jab to receive another jab in two weeks’ time, but we have learnt that the doses have been depleted. It is also not clear as to when the next batch will arrive. The standard procedure is that each person should receive 2 jabs of the vaccine, the jabs should be taken 4 weeks apart. This means that with the 32 000 doses that we received, we should have fully vaccinated only 16 000 people and then waited for the new batch. Now government needs to make sure that they secure the second batch in 2 weeks which is quite impossible”, he said.

Senator Lizzie Nkosi, the Minister of Health in a press statement released on Friday said the vaccination campaign was still in Phase 1 and 27 601 people which include the elderly and health workers have been vaccinated. This means the first batch of the 32000 doses which the country received in March have been depleted.

“The country is expecting to receive a donation of 500 000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from AstraZeneca and discussions are ongoing to confirm the delivery date”, reads the statement in part.

Health crisis:  Government racing against time to procure second doses of AstraZeneca vaccine for the elderly.
Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi