Southern Province Health Director has assured the media and the public about the safety of the AstraZenaca COVID-19 vaccine.

Reacting to questions from the media during the orientation of media personnel in Southern Province Wednesday, Dr Naman Moonze noted that if the vaccine was not safe for Zambians, the World Health Organisation (WHO) would have not allowed it to be in Zambia.

The Health Director (in picture) has since called for a strong partnership between the media and the Ministry of Health to sensitize the masses and achieve the goal of herd immunization.

Moonze further counseled the general public to continue following preventive guidelines even after getting the vaccine, noting that the medication does not stop contraction of the virus but only reduces the effects if one gets sick.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health in conjunction with USAID held an orientation meeting for journalists in Choma, Wednesday, to train them on various issues pertaining COVID-19 and the vaccine.

Speaking during the opening of the workshop, Moonze revealed that in Southern Province, Sinazongwe District has the highest number of people turning up to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Moonze noted that Sinazongwe exhausted its 1, 500 vaccine allocation in two days and the district is seeking for more procurement of the vaccine.

He also revealed that Monze is one of the districts with a low turn up of those willing to get the vaccine, hence calling for serious interventions with collaboration from the media to sensitize the public on the importance of taking the vaccine.

Moonze revealed that over 3, 000 people in Southern Province have so far been vaccinated, a situation he said needs to improve.

Meanwhile, Lyver Phiri, a Health Promotions Officer and facilitator at the meeting, noted that ignorance from the public in Choma on the knowledge about the vaccine is a major hindrance to the vaccination campaign.