Zambia’s medicines control body has approved five COVID-19 vaccines that can be used during the country’s vaccination programme, a senior government official has said.
Ministry of Health permanent secretary Kennedy Malama said the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) has approved the use of China's Sinopharm, Johnson & Johnson’s Jansen, AstraZeneca Covishield, AZD 12225-Korea AstraZeneca, and Pfizer Biotech vaccines.
He said the approval of the five were part of the basket of vaccines approved by the Zambian cabinet for use, subject to authorisation by ZAMRA.
“Government is taking all necessary steps to mobilize vaccines for the Zambian people and we will continue updating the nation," Malama told journalists in Lusaka on Wednesday.
The Southern African country has been on a phased COVID-19 vaccination campaign since April.
The first phase targets health workers and other people most at risk.
Malama said the vaccination programme, which was briefly paused last month, would resume on 23 June when those who received their first doses would start receiving the second one.
He also revealed that there has been an upsurge in the number of COVID-19 infections in the country in recent weeks, with 558 new cases recorded between Monday and Tuesday.
This brought the cumulative cases to 95,821 and 1,282 deaths since April 2020.