CENTRE for Disease Control (CDC) country director Dr Andrew Auld says Zambia has fully vaccinated over 6.2 million eligible people, but 2.7 million remain unvaccinated and at risk.

And Munali UPND member of parliament Mike Mposha says the battle against Covid-19 is not yet won.

Speaking during the re-launch of the 2022 Covid-19 vaccination campaign which was conducted under the theme “COVID-19 is not yet over, get vaccinated protect your family, your community and protect yourself”, Dr Auld said the United States would continue to support COVID-19 Responses in Zambia.

“Congratulations to Zambia for fully vaccinating over 6.2 million people. The United States is proud to be a partner to Zambia in the fight against Covid-19 in supporting your response. It is commendable to see Zambia announcing such an extraordinary national response to ensure Zambians are protected against serious illness and death. Once again, Zambia is leading the region, leading the continent, a wonderful example for all of us. The second campaign is necessary because although major strides have been made and vaccinated in over half of the eligible population in Zambia for the COVID-19 vaccine, there are still 2.7 million eligible people who are unvaccinated and that are still at risk. So let us unite and help protect our families and communities by getting vaccinated,” said Dr Auld.

“The United States continues to support COVID-19 responses in Zambia through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Centre for Disease Control (CDC), and the US President’s emergency plans for Aids relief by providing technical and financial support to the Ministry of Health and cooperating partners with the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination campaign. To all Zambians out there, please continue to get vaccinated. Vaccines are readily available and the United States is proud to announce over 6 million vaccines to Zambia. We want to congratulate and thank the Ministry of Health and incredible hard-working health workers at the frontline providing services but also to you all because none of this is possible without community participation and excellence and leadership. It is because of all your great work and participation that we are witnessing another COVID-19 vaccination campaign with all eligible men, women, boys, and girls.”

And Mposha, who is also Minister of Water and Sanitation, said the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic was not yet won.

“In terms of preparedness, the Province is ready and has adequate vaccines which are already distributed in all the districts in the province, and teams have been deployed in the field. I would like to commend all stakeholders for the efforts taken in order to prevent and control the pandemic. To date, the nation has continued to record a 1 per cent positivity rate for the Covid-19 cases but this should not make us relax as the battle is not yet won. I, therefore, wish to encourage all stakeholders to continue championing this response in a much more central manner and to continue providing the much-needed technical and logistical support. I would like to acknowledge and appreciate all the high-level participants and the media for making the vaccination campaign a success,” said Mposha.

Meanwhile, UNICEF country representative Benjamin Meyer said since the onset of the pandemic, Zambia had so far received about 21m COVID 19 vaccines.

“At a time when we have seen a significant decline in cases and admissions for the past two days, there has been no admission at all. This is a very good trend and I would like to congratulate the government of the Republic of Zambia for going an extra mile to make this happen. About 60 percent of the targeted population has been vaccinated already and it is our hope that this vaccination drive will take us closer to the vaccination target of 70 percent by the end of the year. Aside from the massive gains it has, we all would like to see our schools, places of worship, and public spaces free of COVID as this will boost our economic growth and create jobs in addition to boosting domestic and internal tourism, one of which is key to improving livelihood for the people of Zambia. Since the onset of the pandemic, Zambia has so far received about 21 million COVID vaccines through the COVAX facility, the African vaccine acquisition trust, and bilateral donations. Of these, UNICEF bought 19 million doses through the COVAX facility and the African vaccine acquisition trust.”

And World Health Organisation country representative Dr Nathan Bakyaita said since the deployment of vaccines in Zambia, WHO had provided vital financial support to Northern and Western Provinces.

“Since the deployment of vaccines in Zambia through the COVAX facility, as WHO we have provided vital financial support to the vaccination campaign to two provinces, Northern and Western provinces where we have invested over $1,000,000 to make sure that the vaccine campaign goes ahead. We have also with the support of our Alliance donated 700 hundred data collection tools and accessories worth over $120,000 for the collection of vaccination data, entry, monitoring, and evaluation of the processes,” said Dr Bakyaita.