Malawi rolled out the first phase of a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign on Thursday.
President Lazarus Chakwera was the first individual to receive the vaccine in the small town of Zomba, some 37 odd miles away from the city’s capital Blantyre.
“I have volunteered to be the first one to be vaccinated so that you can see that the vaccine is safe,” said Chakwera. He reported that the COVID-19 vaccination program is a milestone for Malawi as it joins hands with the global community in fighting the pandemic.
The southeastern African nation of about 18.5 million received the first batch of 360,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on March 5 from the UN’s COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility.
Former President, Joyce Banda, who was among the first people to get vaccinated, welcomed the vaccination drive by stating, “This is an important moment for the battle to destroy the virus, prevent illness and save lives.” Banda lost her son to COVID-19 last month.