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Acting Prime Minister officially launch vaccination programme, urges Swazis to accept controversial AstraZeneca vaccines

Friday, 19th March, 2021

MBABANE: Senator Themba Masuku, the Acting Prime Minister has on Friday launched the start of the vaccination programme despite the controversy surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccines.
Speaking during the launch at the Cabinet Offices in Mbabane on Friday, the Acting Prime Minister said the success of the programme rested on the Nation he urged Swazis to encourage each other to take the COVID -19 vaccine saying it was safe.
“I now urge all Emaswati 18 years and above to pre-register on the link: https://eswatinihealth.org/. Onsite registration on the day of the vaccination will be provided for those who won’t be able to do pre-registration”, he said.
This is despite international reports suggesting that several European countries in the likes of Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy and Spain have suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after it was suspected to be causing blood clots in those who have been vaccinated. The vaccine was also suspended in South Africa for its low efficacy against the South African variant.
Eswatini has secured 32000 doses of the vaccine with assistance of the government of India, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Children Fund (Unicef).
On Wednesday, 17 March, Senator Lizzie Nkosi, the Minister of Health became the first person in Eswatini to be vaccinated with the controversial vaccine.
Shortly after that, Bheki Mamba, the President of the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) told this Swaziland News that their stance hasn’t changed and they would not take the vaccine.
“That the vaccine has been taken by the Minister doesn’t change the scientific evidence that has been generated around it .It doesn’t change the fact that the vaccine has a low efficacy against the South African variant, so as nurses we will not take it”, said the SWADNU President.

Acting Prime Minister officially launch vaccination programme, urges Swazis to accept controversial AstraZeneca vaccines
Acting Prime Minister Senator Themba Masuku(pic: Gov)