Phase Two COVID-19 vaccine to commence

Taking covid-19 vaccine PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Taking covid-19 vaccine PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG


“Following the arrival of 200 000 doses of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine on June 24, 2021, the ministry will continue the vaccination exercise for those taking their first dose on July 5, 2021.

The targeted group is 55 years and above age category in line with the Phase One of the National Deployment Vaccine Plan.

As at the end of last month,157,288 individuals were vaccinated with 84,280 fully vaccinated. The ministry anticipates to have vaccinated 80% of those aged 55 and above by end of July 2021,” states the ministry’s chief public relations officer, Christopher Nyanga.

Furthermore, he explained that Phase Two age category had a total of 765,754 people. He also reminded the public that the COVID-19 vaccine aims to reduce the severity of the disease, hospitalisation and or death, but it is not a cure for COVID-19.  Moreover, he advised the public to strictly abide by all COVID-19 protocols without exception.

He added that the ministry advises all who are eligible to register online to reduce the length of time they may take at vaccination centres. Botswana government recently purchased Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine from China. The Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine also known as the CoronaVac, is a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured  by Beijing-based pharmaceutical company, Sinovac.

The vaccine is the second China-made after  Sinopharm COVID-19 BBIBP-CorV vaccine yet to be approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for use against COVID-19.

As of June 19, Sinovac was approved for use in 32 countries and was undergoing 15 trials in seven other countries.

According to a report from the World Health Organisation (WHO), by the beginning of this month they validated the Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, giving countries, funders, procuring agencies and communities the assurance that it meets international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing.

“In the case of the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine, the WHO assessment included on-site inspections of the production facility.  The Sinovac-CoronaVac product is an inactivated vaccine. Its easy storage requirements make it very manageable and particularly suitable for low-resource settings. WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) has also completed its review of the vaccine. On the basis of available evidence, WHO recommends the vaccine for use in adults 18 years and older, in a two-dose schedule with a spacing of two to four weeks,” it stated.

Furthermore, WHO stated that the vaccine effectiveness results showed that the vaccine prevented symptomatic disease in 51% of those vaccinated and prevented severe COVID-19 and hospitalisation in 100% of the studied population.

The report also highlighted that few older adults (over 60 years) were enrolled in clinical trials, so efficacy could not be estimated in that age group. Nevertheless, WHO did not recommend an upper age limit for the vaccine because data collected during subsequent use in multiple countries and supportive immunogenicity data suggest the vaccine is likely to have a protective effect in older persons.

They stated that there was no reason to believe that the vaccine had a different safety profile in older and younger populations. However, WHO recommended that countries using the vaccine in older age groups conduct safety and effectiveness monitoring to verify the expected impact and contribute to making the recommendation more robust for all countries.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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