September 28, 2021

Minister of Health says AstraZeneca Vaccine is Free for All

Minister of Health, Hon. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, says the AstraZeneca vaccine is for all Malawians and for free.

The Minister was reacting to the vaccine exercise that was scheduled to take place at MAIMED Health Care Services located behind Chibisa House in Blantyre on Sunday 21st March, 2021.

According to the arrangement which was done with the District Health Office for Blantyre, the management indicated that from 9:00a.m. -10:30a.m., Indians of Malawi origin will be receive first priority and thereafter, anyone or other races, can come in.

Some Indians had put together money to pay for Covid-19 vaccinators as allowances for forcing them to work on Sunday instead of resting at their respective houses.

Hon. Kandodo Chiponda says no special arrangements will be entertained, no allowance to the vaccinators is allowed urging Malawians to get the vaccine from the approved health institutions.

Meanwhile, The Asian Association of Malawi [AAM], has categorically condemned any such practices, and or perpetuate discrimination of basis of race, creed, colour, gender or status, saying the alleged prioritization on the basis of ethnicity or status is distasteful in the extreme and is not condoned by the majority of the Asian community, who are not privy in this information and recognize the need for a level playing field in all such matters.

In the statement dated 21st March, 2021 signed by its Chairman, Rafiq Hajat, says the Asian body is putting on record that they as an Association did not sanction this exercise, and deplore such differentiation based on ethnicity as they adhere to and abide by the constitution of the Republic of Malawi in Chapter 8 Section 20[1].

…”Discrimination of persons in any form is prohibited and all persons are, under, any law, guaranteed equal and effective protection against discrimination on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, nationality ethnic or social origin, disability, property, birth or other status…,’’ reads part of the statement.

The Asian Association of Malawi [AAM] says it is un reservedly pledging solidarity with the Government of Malawi in its efforts to avail access to the Covid-19 vaccine to all the people of Malawi without preference of favour.

By Vincent Gunde

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