UK donates COVID-19 vaccines to Malawi

14 August 2021
COVID-19 testing supplies at Mangochi District Hospital
UNICEF Malawi/2020/Simwaka
COVID-19 testing supplies at Mangochi District Hospital

14 August 2021- Malawi has received 119,040 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine through Covax facility. The UK has pledged to donate 100 million vaccines overseas by June 2022, 80 million of which will go to COVAX. This consignment to Malawi is part of the first tranche of 9 million doses that the UK recently released and donated bilaterally and to COVAX to help tackle Covid-19 abroad. The COVAX scheme ensures equitable, global access to Covid-19 vaccines. The facility prioritises delivering vaccines to people who most need them.

Charge d’Affaires at British High Commissioner, Fiona Ritchie, said:

“At this time when Malawi continues to be heavily impacted by Covid-19, evidenced by high levels of cases, hospitalisations and deaths, we’re doing this to help the most vulnerable, but also because we know we won’t be safe until everyone is safe. The UK’s donation is the outcome of the pledge that G7 leaders made to vaccinate the world and end the pandemic as a matter of urgency.”

Minister of Health, Hon Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said:

We are very grateful for the UK Government’s donation of 119,040 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccines which will support the Covid-19 response. This will help us realise our goal of vaccinating around 3.8 million Malawians, particularly frontline workers and the most vulnerable, so we can put this pandemic behind us and focus on growing the economy.”

UNICEF Malawi Acting Representative Tedla Damte said:

“As Governments and the COVAX facility partners work hard to make COVID-19 vaccines affordable and accessible to all countries, we must do our part- get the vaccine to protect ourselves, our families, our communities and our children from this deadly and disruptive pandemic. Together we can end COVID-19.”

WHO Representative for Malawi, Dr. Nonhlanhla Dlamini said:

“Our WHO experts have reassured us that for all of the variants of concern, including the Delta variant, the vaccines remain effective against severe disease and death. This is a very good sign. I’m urging our frontline workers and all priority groups to come forward and get their jabs.”

 The UK has been at the forefront of the global response to Covid-19, kickstarting the COVAX facility in 2020, and investing £90 million to support the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was made by Oxford Biomedica in Oxford and packaged in Wrexham, North Wales.

UNICEF is leading the procurement and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility in the largest, most complex ground operation in the history of immunization.


Notes to editors: 

  • The following footage is available at this WeTransfer link: Wockhart facility in Wrexham: Vaccine vial production for Astra Zeneca. Astra Zeneca vaccines stored in refrigerated warehouse operated by Movianto in UK.
  • This is the first tranche of the 100 million vaccines the Prime Minister pledged the UK would share within the next year at last month’s G7 in Cornwall. The doses will be UK-branded. The cost of this donation has been funded through UK Overseas Development Assistance and will come over and above the ODA spending target of 0.5% of GNI if needed.
  • Details of future donations will be announced in due course. Around 80 per cent of the total 100 million doses will go to COVAX, and the remainder will be shared bilaterally with countries in need.
  • The UK also kickstarted efforts to establish COVAX in 2020, providing a total of £548 million to fund vaccines for lower income countries. The scheme has delivered more than 152 million vaccine doses to over 137 countries and territories, including in 83 lower-middle income countries. Sixty- five per cent of the initial vaccine doses have been Oxford-AstraZeneca. COVAX aims to deliver 1.8 billion vaccines to lower-income countries around the world by early 2022.
  • The UK provided £90 million to support the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine: £25m on the initial research and development, and £65m to scale up manufacturing.

Covid-19 Situation in Malawi

  • In the 24 hours preceding 11 August 2021, there were 378 new COVID-19 cases and 21 new deaths. Cumulatively, by 11 August, Malawi had recorded 56,952 cases including 1,895 deaths, with a Case Fatality Rate of 3.33 per cent (higher than the WHO AFRO regional average of 2.6 per cent, and the global average of 2.2 per cent). Cumulatively, 362,089 tests have been conducted in the country so far.
  • On COVID-19 vaccinations, by 11 August 2021, 32,788 Johnson and Johnson doses and 623,077 AstraZeneca vaccine doses had been administered (463,848 people have received the first dose and 159,229 the second dose). This brings the number of fully vaccinated people by 11 August to 191,617.
  • The UK was the first donor to step up to support the Government of Malawi’s COVID-19 response last March.  Over the last year we have provided millions of pounds to improve testing and screening at points of entry to the country, as well as to strengthen health services and treatment capacity. UK funding has enabled the establishment of a new oxygen plant at the national referral hospital in Lilongwe, and eight emergency treatment units across the country, as well as training health workers and procuring essential medical and laboratory supplies including PPE. UK-supported health messaging has reached more than 10 million Malawians, increasing their awareness of COVID, and dispelling myths, rumours and stigma.

Media contacts

Rebecca Phwitiko
Communications Officer
Tel: 0999282723
Benson Linje
Communications Officer
DFID Malawi
Tel: +265 882 576 929


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