On March 5th, news broke that the first shipments of the Covid-19 vaccine had landed in Malawi, thanks to the efforts of the COVAX program which provides vaccines to developing countries out of the surplus in developed countries. Malawi, a country of approximately 19 million people, was informed that 360,000 doses were in the shipment (enough for 180,000 people). After a period of days waiting, the government announced that the vaccines would go to health workers on the front line. And that was the last we heard about it.
In a routine staff meeting last Tuesday, we were informed that our maternity clinic was contacted the night before and informed that they had been selected to receive the vaccine, and that all health workers were to report to work Tuesday morning for their first shot. As the staff meeting was taking place, our maternity staff were getting their first vaccinations! I raced over to the clinic just in time to see the end of the process and grab a few photos. We were shocked that our maternity clinic, a small operation in the grand scheme, was chosen for vaccination, but delighted that our healthcare workers can now work with less fear as they help women and babies in the surrounding communities.