Maputo — The Mozambican Ministry of Health expects to immunise 216,771 people in the second phase of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, starting on Monday across the country.
The Deputy National Director of Public Health, Benigna Matsinhe, who addressed a press conference on Wednesday in Maputo to announce the drive, said 313 teams have been set up consisting of 2,643 health workers who will administer the vaccine at health units in the district capitals, in accommodation centres and in prisons.
Matsinhe said the second phase will include undergraduate students on health training courses, diabetic patients left out of the first phase, patients under immunosuppressant therapy, those with chronic kidney failure and undergoing haemodialysis or on the waiting list, as long as they are above 18 years of age.
The drive will also target patients with chronic respiratory failure, chronic heart failure, people living in accommodation centres, inmates and staff in prisons, police officers and primary school teachers who are over 50 years old.
« The second phase follows the first one which began on 8 March and targeted frontline workers, mostly health professionals as well as the retired staff from National Health System and diabetic patients, » she said.
For the second phase, health authorities will administer two doses of the Covisheild vaccine with an interval of eight weeks between the first and the second dose. Covishield is the Indian version of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine.
Matsinhe said that the Mozambican government and its « have been working closely to ensure the availability of the vaccine in the country, in spite of the scarcity at an international level. » .
She added patients with severe fever will have their vaccination delayed. The move includes acute Covid-19 cases until they are fully recovered.
The vaccine, she added, is not recommended for pregnant women as well as those who have just given birth, for breastfeeding women as well as those who are severely immunocompromised, since their immune response may be affected by the vaccine.