Home African News Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina in COVID vaccine U-turn

Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina in COVID vaccine U-turn

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Madagascar's President Andry Rajoelina in COVID vaccine U-turn

Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina walked back on his hard-line stance against coronavirus vaccination on Friday,

accepting mass inoculation but standing by a herbal infusion he has touted as a “cure.”

Rajoelina, 46, came under heavy criticism after saying at the weekend that he would not

be vaccinated against COVID and was not in a hurry to roll out the jab to the public.

He has relentlessly promoted a locally brewed infusion, based on the anti-malarial plant artemisia, to fight the virus.

But in a statement on Friday, his office said the government will “seek and use effective vaccines” against the virus.

The decision was announced after a meeting between Rajoelina and the national medical academy.

“It has been decided that taking vaccines is a choice and should not be compulsory,” said

the presidency, without giving details of which jabs will be procured.

The government continued to boast the virtues of the herbal therapy

named Covid-Organics or CVO, which is being sold in drink and capsule form.

“The use of the Malagasy product Covid-Organics… under the COVID-19 preventive and

curative treatment is maintained and still in force,” the statement said.

Experts have cautioned against the brew, saying it has not been scientifically tested to see whether it is safe or effective.

The Indian Ocean island nation has counted more than 23,000 cases of COVID-19 of which slightly over 360 have been fatal.

It is currently battling a second wave of infections, notably due to the presence of a highly transmissible variant first discovered in South Africa.

Andry Rajoelina

 

Madagascar is putting its controversial herbal remedy for COVID-19 on sale.

This despite warnings from the World Health Organization that the tonic is not yet proven.

The country’s self-proclaimed coronavirus cure has already been ordered by several countries including Tanzania, Liberia and the Republic of Congo.

 

The COVID-19 Organics is based on a plant with anti-malarial properties.

It was developed by the state-run Malagasy Institute of Applied Research.

Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina launched the tonic last month, claiming it had cured several people.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has said South Africa will help Madagascar to scientifically test the herbal remedy.