The Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus has adjusted the Covid-19 vaccination age limit for Pfizer-BioNTech to cover all those aged 12 years and above.
The move adjusts the current vaccination age eligibility policy in the country, which only targeted those aged 18 years and older.
In a press statement, co-chairperson of the presidential task force who is also Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said this has been reached after getting advice from the local Immunisation Experts Group.
Reads the statement in part: “This extension is only for Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine for the time being, until further expert advice is available and announced regarding other vaccines.
“And now that the taskforce has endorsed the use of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine for those aged 12 years and above, let me call upon all those that are eligible to access these services as soon as they are available to you.”
Ministry of Health spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe, while admitting that the country had received a consignment of 700 830 doses of the Pfizer vaccines, could not disclose when the vaccines would be rolled out.
He said: “As we understand that the first consignment is the first to expire, we used the same logic seeing that the Pfizer vaccines still had some shelf life before they can expire compared to those already in stock. We wanted to exhaust the vaccine consignments that were set to expire by November 30.
“Now we are ready to roll out the Pfizer vaccine any time from now since we have managed to deplete some of the vaccines that were expected to expire.”
In a separate interview, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences professor of public health and epidemiology Adamson Muula described the age adjustment for vaccine eligibility for Pfizer as a move in the right direction.
“Though these children may not be at high risk as hardly have we had cases of people under the age of 20 die or become critically ill as it has largely been an adult disease, but knowing that the Pfizer vaccine can offer extra protection that must indeed be embraced,” he said.
Currently, Public Health Institute of Malawi Covid-19 daily information update on Monday indicate that 599 981 people have been fully vaccinated with 807 671 receiving the first jab of AstraZeneca and 325 488 receiving the second jab of AstraZeneca while 274 493 have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine.