Zambia has introduced COVID-19 booster shots for those seeking extra protection against a virus that has so far claimed more than 3,700 lives in the southern African country.
Health Minister Sylvia Masebo said the booster shots are available at different intervals, depending on which vaccine an individual received the first time.
Those previously vaccinated using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would be eligible for the booster shot two months after the first jab, while those who inoculated using other vaccines would only be able to receive the booster shot six months after the second jab of the initial vaccine.
This means that those who took two-dose AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Pfizer and Moderna could only take the booster shot six months after full vaccination.
The booster vaccines would be administered to adults above 18 years and priority would be given to health workers and later those with health conditions that made them vulnerable.
The booster vaccines would later be made available to those who had been fully vaccinated and were willing to take another jab to enhance or restore their immunity, Masebo told journalists on Monday in the capital Lusaka.
The minister also announced that the country had started vaccinating children aged between 12 and 18 with the Pfizer vaccine.
"This will be the first time we will be inoculating children and we will keep monitoring closely for any side effects which is a normal experience for consuming any drug or form of medication," she added.
Zambia is battling a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with records showing that more than 234,000 people have been infected with the virus since April 2020.