President Nyusi extends phase II of vaccination campaign
Maputo, 19 Jul (AIM) – President Filipe Nyusi on 17 July extended the administration of the second dose of vaccine against Covid-19, under the second phase of the national vaccination campaign. He announced a three day extension to give a further opportunity to all those who have taken the first dose of the vaccine, but not the second.
President Nyusi took his decision because there are still a large number of citizens eligible for the second dose who have not yet taken it.
The deputy director of the National Health Institute (INS), Eduardo Samo Gudo, told AIM in a telephone interview that the target group for the second phase of the campaign was about 240,000 people. He believed that about ten per cent of this group had not yet taken the second dose.
Speaking on Radio Mozambique, President Nyusi that, if the vaccine is to have the desired effect, “individuals must take the second dose”. He stressed that one dose does not provide sufficient protection against the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
The President urged the health authorities to ensure that no vaccines go unused or are allowed to pass their expiry date. If those for whom these doses are intended did not turn up to claim them, then the Health Ministry should use them to vaccinate other Mozambicans, he instructed.
“I urge all those who have already taken the first dose of the vaccine, to go to the vaccination posts to compete the doses, and thus increase their immunity”, said the President. He stressed that the vaccination campaign is a key step in the drive to return the country to normality.
The vaccine in question is Covishield, which is the Indian brand name for the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
President Nyusi said the government’s target is to vaccinate at least 17 million people. “If, by the end of this year, we manage 11 million, we will have taken a significant step forward”, he added.
Eleven million doses of vaccine are due to arrive in Mozambique by the end of August. According to Health Minister Armindo Tiago, many of these doses will be the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which, unlike most Covid-19 vaccines, is administered in one dose, rather than two.