Botswana, like many other countries around the world, is running short of AstraZeneca, a COVID-19 vaccine that is supposed to be administered on a second dose to thousands of people in the country this month.
In Maun and surrounding areas for instance more than 2000 people are waiting to receive a second dose of the vaccine, but the District Health Management Team (DHMT) has no answer as to when the vaccine will be available for the second dose.
“I cannot say the exact date as to when we will receive the second dose but we are hopeful that it will arrive,” explained the acting head of DHMT, Dr. Sandra Maripe.
Maripe was speaking at the ongoing sub-council meeting in Maun, Wednesday afternoon where she was giving an update on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the region.
AstraZeneca was administered to executive members of the community and elderly citizens aged 65 and above during the campaign that started in March this year.
According to Maripe it was given to elderly citizens living with other health conditions including diabetes among others.
But when AstraZeneca got depleted the elderly population was vaccinated with Sinovac vaccine and Maripe says in the North West they are working against a target of 7 524 elders.
“Majority of those aged 65 and above have received the vaccine and now we would be focusing on 55 to 64 age group,” Maripe stated and this time around she added all will be vaccinated regardless of their health conditions.
So far she stated, they have vaccinated a total of 4 492 people including some essential service workers.
Meanwhile, the global community is worried about the second dose of Astrazeneca which is supplied by India, a country that is now reportedly grappling with a surge of new COVID-19 cases and has become slow in exporting the vaccine.
While some pharmacists have expressed concern that the uncertainty of vaccine arrival is frustrating, researchers are said to be trying to find out if vaccines can be mixed as a way of trying to solve the vaccine shortage problem.