A Malawian Christian organisation has written to the country’s government expressing concern over the planned to roll out the administration of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
In a statement, the Freedom of Worship Association of Malawi (FOWAM) argued that administering the vaccine without proving its efficacy would be putting the lives of innocent Malawians at risk.
FOWAM warned the Malawian government that if authorities at the Capital Hill do not address their concerns, it will mobilise its faithful not to take the vaccine.
The statement, co-signed by founder and overseer of the Living Word Evangelical Church (LIWEC), Prophet David Mbewe, as the president of the association and his public relations officer, Ras Jerafaya Geoffrey Phomea, reads:
It is our contention that this will be putting lives of innocent Malawians at great risk. You may wish to note that even South Africa has had to suspend vaccination of its citizens following questionable efficacy to the Covid-19 variant prevalent in this southern region of Africa.
In light of the foregoing, we expect to hear from how you intend to address issues raised. If we do not hear from you promptly, we will be left with no choice, but to mobilize the faithful in Malawi not to receive the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
Health Minister Khumbize Chiponda said the government has engaged faith groups, traditional leaders, civil society organisations, the media and legislators to sensitise citizens on the safety of the vaccine.
Chiponda said authorities were concerned over what he called lies being recklessly peddled against the vaccine.