LUSAKA– As COVID-19 continues to ravage countries across the globe, more and more young people in Zambia are getting involved in vaccination efforts.

They are working hard to encourage people in their communities to go and receive COVID-19 vaccine doses that are being offered free of charge at various health facilities across the country.

 Francine Lubinda, a resident of Chibombo District, Central Province of Zambia, is among the many youths who have made it their mission to mobilize and encourage friends and family members to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

“It is important for people to realize the importance of vaccines so that they can go to health facilities to be tested for COVID-19 and be vaccinated,” said an enthusiastic Lubinda.

The 21-year-old girl said not too long ago, people in her village were afraid to be vaccinated against COVID-19 because of the many unfounded theories that flooded social spaces.

She admitted that like many, she too felt compelled to believe untrue narratives about COVID-19 vaccines and was hesitant to get vaccinated. She has changed completely after learning the truth about vaccines. 

“Yes, one can still test positive even after being vaccinated but the resulting effect would not be as severe as the one that is not vaccinated. I am proud to say I am vaccinated,” she assertively said.

Gina Mukuka, 24 and a resident of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, revealed that she is using every opportunity she has to educate people including strangers about the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

“A lot of people that are not vaccinated are not aware of the huge costs associated with treating persons that get COVID-19 and are not vaccinated.

“We just need to be reasonable and help reduce the burden on our health personnel and facilities,” she said, calling for more awareness-raising programs so that more people are encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and cut down on medical expenses.

According to Zambian Minister of Health Silvia Masebo, as of Dec. 27, 2021, Zambia had recorded  234,476 COVID-19 confirmed cases, with 3,709 COVID-19-related deaths and 212,712 recoveries.

And the country had got 18,055 COVID-19 active cases by the day. “Under the national vaccination program, we have continued to see an encouraging increase in the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered. We will continue to ensure that we bring the vaccines as close to communities as possible,” Masebo said. – Xinhua