Written by  Chisomo Break

Ministry of Health has put on hold plans to roll out mandatory COVID 19 vaccination to frontline workers in the country including journalists and health workers.

File photo: A health worker during a vaccination exercise File photo: A health worker during a vaccination exercise

Spokesperson for the ministry, Adrian Chikumbe, has told MBC that currently, they are in the process of getting feedback from the citizenry on the matter.


"We are currently soliciting views from the public on the matter thereafter the ministry will consult the Office of the Attorney General for guidance before presenting the findings to the public," said Chikumbe.


In mid-December last year, Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandondo Chiponda, announced the government's intent to consider making COVID-19 Vaccines mandatory to frontline staff.


The ministry further clarified that this was one of the other COVID-19 precautionary guidelines that the government had introduced to thwart the further spread of the pandemic after the country registered the first cases of the OMICRON variant.


“We have registered cases of the new variant (OMICRON) so we have to engage another gear in the fight against the pandemic," said Chiponda.


However, the announcement ignited a public debate as some people said such measures infringe on personal choice while others supported the move saying it serves to protect the public from the deadly virus.


Reports from the Ministry of Health indicate that hospitalisation and deaths due to COVID-19 are much lower in the vaccinated population than in unvaccinated persons.


Currently, over 3% of the country's population is fully vaccinated.



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