HEALTH Minister Dr Jonas Chanda has disclosed that so far no severe adverse event (SAEs) have been received among those vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a statement, Monday, Dr Chanda said on Sunday 798 individuals got the COVID-19 vaccine in Lusaka bringing the cumulative number of those vaccinated to 2,114.

The Health Minister further expressed pleasure with the increased interest by people in communities who wanted to get vaccinated.

“The COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign continues in Lusaka targeting priority populations who are most at risk. Yesterday (Sunday) alone 798 individuals got the COVID-19 vaccine jab in Lusaka, bringing the cumulative number of those vaccinated persons since the program was launched five days ago to 2,114. So far, no severe adverse event (SAEs) have been received among those vaccinated. Fellow countrymen and women, we note with gratitude and pleasure, the increased interest by many people in our communities to get vaccinated,” he stated.

Dr Chanda however, stated that in as much as the government appreciated people’s interest to get vaccinated, they had a schedule to follow with those at higher risk being the first in line.

“While we appreciate this interest, we have a schedule to follow with those at higher risk being the first in line, in line with Cabinet approval in the Zambia COVID-19 Vaccination Program – that is the healthcare workers, and others leading critical societal functions such as teachers, security personnel, immigration, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, among others. I wish to encourage everyone to trust the process as we have the interest of everyone eligible at hand and as more vaccines come into the country, it is our appeal that all eligible adults above the age of 18 years will eventually be vaccinated,” he stated.

“The Ministry of Health and other stakeholders have embarked on an enhanced and focused Vaccine Sensitisation Campaign to ensure the targeted populations including the healthcare workers, teachers, security forces and others access the vaccine. This week, the COVID-19 vaccines are expected in all Provincial capitals for further deployment to districts, and the Provincial Health Offices are currently conducting orientations of district teams on COVID-19 vaccination in.”

And giving an update on the latest COVID-19 statistics in the last 24 hours, Dr Chanda said the country recorded 24 new cases out of 2,676 tests conducted.

‘‘We recorded among 30 Districts countrywide, 24 ‘new’ cases out of 2,676 tests conducted representing a positivity of 0.9 percent. The breakdown of the new cases by province is as follows: Central 12, Copperbelt one, Eastern one, Luapula one, Lusaka five, Muchinga one, Northern one, North-Western two, Southern zero and Western zero. The Districts that reported include Kapiri Mposhi seven; Chibombo five; Lusaka five; Solwezi two; Isoka one; Kitwe one; Mansa one; Mungwi one; Nyimba one. The cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date stands at 90,942,’’ he said.

‘‘During the last 24 hours we regrettably lost one COVID-19 patient in the Kitwe Teaching Hospital COVID-19 Isolation Center. The cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded to-date now stands at 1,236, classified as 691 COVID deaths and 545 COVID-19 associated deaths. We reported 142 discharges from both the COVID-19 isolation facilities and home management, bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 88,860. There are currently 48 cases admitted to our COVID-19 isolation facilities nationally. Among those admitted, 37 are on Oxygen therapy and seven are in critical condition.”