PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has exhorted citizens to be vaccinated as part of broader efforts to minimise the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, which has so far claimed 1 501 lives.
The immunisation programme, which is voluntary, is targeting 10 million people in three phases to complete the exercise.
The first phase of the programme targeted frontline workers who included health workers, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) officials, Customs and Immigration employees, journalists and members of the security sector. As of yesterday, 36 359 frontline workers had been vaccinated countrywide.
Posting on his Twitter page, President Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to get vaccinated as part of efforts in the fight against Covid-19.
“Many of you have been asking: Is there a way out? Is there protection against Covid-19? Well, I’m here to tell you that you and I have a role to play in this fight. Covid-19 vaccines have been delivered to Zimbabwe,” he said.
The President said the Covid-19 vaccines help minimise the risk of infection and they are being administered countrywide free of charge.
“These vaccines help minimise the risk of infection and are being administered all over Zimbabwe free of charge. You and I need to defeat the disease. So, get vaccinated now. This is our stand against Covid-19. Together, we will conquer,” he said.
Government has procured 600 000 more Sinopharm vaccine doses from China as it steps up efforts to inoculate 10 million citizens and an additional 1,2 million doses are on the way.
China also pledged to donate another 200 000 doses of vaccine in addition to the 200 000 which have been delivered and are being used in the vaccination programme.
Low rates of vaccination
The inoculation of citizens will enable the country to achieve 60 percent herd immunity.
Recently, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Government has established a team of experts drawn from the academia, Ministry of Health and Child Care, and research and clinical practitioners to monitor the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Minister Mutsvangwa said as more vaccines are being procured, citizens must remain vigilant and protect themselves, their loved ones, communities and the entire nation.
“Government has established a team of experts drawn from the academia, Ministry of Health and Child Care, and research and clinical practitioners to monitor the effectiveness of the vaccine. The team’s recommendations will guide the country’s vaccination rollout programme at all times,” she said.
“No major adverse reactions have been recorded to date, except for a single case of a minor reaction which manifested in a rash.”
Last month, Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga launched the national vaccination programme and was the first citizen to be vaccinated.
Last week Cabinet directed that the second phase of the vaccination programme should start.