106 people get COVID-19 vaccine jab in Zambia on first day of vaccination


   LUSAKA, April 15 -- One hundred and six people received the COVID-19 vaccine jab on the first day of the launch of the vaccination program, a senior government official said Thursday.
   Zambia officially launched the vaccination program Wednesday, with the first phase targeting health workers and other people most at risk.
   Minister of Health Jonas Chanda, who was the first to receive the jab as a medical doctor, said the 106 people were vaccinated at the launch and so far no adverse events have been reported.
   He said only a few reports of common side effects like other routine vaccinations such as headaches and pains at the point of injection have been noted.
   A surveillance system has been put in place to tackle any concerns that might occur as the country rolls out the vaccination program, according to the official.
   "The government will only allow in the vaccines that are safe, efficacious and suitable for Zambia. Benefits of vaccination far outweigh the very rare side effects that may be reported," he said.
   The vaccination program is being conducted in a phased manner. The first pillar which is currently underway is a program under the COVAX Facility consisting of 228,000 doses of AstraZeneca manufactured in India.
   Meanwhile, the country recorded 143 new cases out of 5,696 tests done in the last 24 hours. This brings the cumulative figure to 90,532 while 42 patients were discharged during the same period, bringing the total recoveries to 88,283.
   The country, however, reported loss of one patient, bringing the total COVID-19 deaths to 1,230.  Xinhua