Zambia ramps up COVID-19 vaccination efforts

LUSAKA, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) —Zambia on Thursday relaunched the COVID-19 vaccination program with the aim of targeting 70 percent of the eligible population.

President Hakainde Hichilema, who relaunched the program in Lusaka, the country’s capital, said having people vaccinated was critical if the fight against the pandemic was to succeed.

“As we relaunch the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, we call upon all Zambians to rise up and join hands in taking full responsibility and control in fighting the Coronavirus pandemic,” he said, stressing that the rejuvenation of the vaccination campaign was necessary in order to raise awareness and create unprecedented demand for key interventions in order to save lives, livelihood and the economy.

According to the Zambian leader, many people in the country have been hesitant to take the vaccine because of lack of adequate information on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.

He has since urged leaders from all sectors to participate in raising awareness among members of the general public.

United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Resident Coordinator Coumba Mar Gadio said the UN will continue to support Zambia in fighting the pandemic.

She said vaccines have proven to be safe and that countries that have rolled out massive vaccination programs have seen a reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Only 5 percent of the eligible population have so far been vaccinated since the first launch of the program on April 14, 2021.

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