Germany, Italy and Croatia support COVID-19 response in Zambia with 2,570,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccines
LUSAKA, Zambia, 19 May 2022 -Today 2,570,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, supported by Germany, Italy and Croatia, arrived in Zambia. These vaccines have been procured and delivered by UNICEF Supply Division, which leads the procurement and supply of vaccines across the world. The consignment contains 1,296,000 doses from Germany, 1,267,200 doses from Italy and 7200 from Croatia.
The vaccine doses were handed over to the Ministry of Health by the German Ambassador to Zambia, Anne Wagner-Mitchell.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary - Technical Services, Prof. Lackson Kasonka, expressed appreciation for the partnership. “This donation comes at an important time in our continued response to COVID-19, during the government-led COVID-19 vaccination drive of accelerated coverage. Halting this pandemic is crucial to ensuring public health security and is necessary for economic recovery and stimulating economic growth for Zambia.”
Germany has already distributed and delivered over 104 million doses of vaccines to emerging and developing countries.
“The Covid-19 crisis is a global crisis and requires global cooperation. This is why the German Government - as longstanding partner and friend of Zambia - remains committed to support the Zambian people in controlling the outbreak of the pandemic and mitigating the economic and social consequences of the crisis,” said Ambassador Wagner-Mitchell. “As vaccinations are the most efficient way to protect lives and the health sector, I want to encourage all Zambians to get vaccinated.”
Rates of vaccination in Zambia have increased over the last few months as vaccine deliveries have also increased, primarily through donations made via the COVAX facility, the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust, and through direct donations from partner countries and organisations. Zambia now has more than two million fully vaccinated adults, including many health workers, religious leaders, teachers and other frontline staff. These two million people are now protected from the worst effects of future waves of the virus, are less likely to infect others, and have reduced the chance of serious infection or long-term effects due to COVID-19. Vaccines are free to all persons over the age of 12 in Zambia.
“COVID-19 will only be defeated if it is brought under control worldwide. Zambia has made strong progress, but we also know that we have a long way to go to reach the needed vaccination coverage in the country, especially among high-risk groups,” said UNICEF Zambia Country Representative Penelope Campbell. “Germany has been a strong partner in a joint response to the pandemic from the outset, and I know that we all share the same hope and message for Zambians – please get vaccinated and continue to practice the five golden rules for prevention.”
In addition to donating vaccines, Germany co-founded the multilateral ACT-A distribution platform and is its second-largest donor, providing a total of 3.3 billion euro since 2020. The ACT-A is a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. The biggest share of this goes to COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the ACT-A, which has already been able to supply 145 states and territories with a total of more than 1.4 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines.
Germany has provided comprehensive support to Zambia to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in line with government’s multi-sectoral COVID-19 response plan. This includes improving COVID-19 diagnostic services with 77,000 PCR and 40,000 rapid test kits and providing Personal Protective Equipment for health workers. Germany also supports improving critical care services through supporting the procurement of oxygen equipment (260 cylinders, 380 concentrators and accessories), rehabilitation of three oxygen plants and the rental of 10,000 refilled oxygen cylinders. Germany provided essential medicines and vaccines against tuberculosis, polio, tetanus, and diphtheria, as well as for measles and rubella to ensure the continuity of life-saving essential health services in Zambia – including routine vaccination and basic curative care. To date, the German Government has provided approximately 6 million euro to Zambia’s Covid-19 pandemic response, including the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines in Zambia through UNICEF.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Zambia, visit www.unicef.org/zambia.