RUSTENBURG - Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera has become the first Malawian to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
He received his first jab of the AstraZeneca dose at Zomba Field Hospital in southern Malawi on Thursday. His wife Monica, also received her dose.
They are expected to receive the second dose within the next 12 weeks.
Launching the country's vaccination roll-out programme, Chakwera dismissed myths associated with the Covid-19 vaccine and urged Malawians not to be misled.
"I have volunteered to be the first one to be vaccinated so that you can see that the vaccine is safe," he said.
"I have just launched the Covid-19 vaccine programme in Zomba, where I received my first shot. We shall overcome," he wrote on Facebook.
He said the vaccination programme was a major milestone for the country because the vaccine would assist the country in the fight against Covid-19.
According to news website Malawi24, former president Joyce Banda and her husband, Richard Banda, as well as officials from the military and the United Nations were also expected to get the shot during the launch.
Vice-president Saulos Chilima launched the vaccination roll-out programme at Mzuzu Central Hospital in northern Malawi, where he also received his jab.
The vaccine involves getting two shots, the second coming eight weeks after the first. Malawi has established 861 vaccination sites across the country.
Malawi received 360,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the global Covax facility on March 5.
Sixty thousand health workers will be among the first to be vaccinated. In addition, the country aims to vaccinate another 3.6 million people in the first phase.
- African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher