Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Senior Health Reporter
ZIMBABWE is leading African countries in rolling out Covid-19 vaccines with reports that 13 percent of its population has been inoculated against the deadly virus with targets to reach herd immunity by year-end.
Statistics from the World in Data — an international research organisation shows that 13 percent of Zimbabweans have been fully vaccinated. So far Morocco is the only country that has managed to vaccinate more of its citizens in Africa than Zimbabwe.
As of Saturday, Zimbabwe had recorded 127 739 Covid-19 cases, including 120 263 recoveries and 4 563 deaths.
A total of 2 941 050 people had received their first dose of the vaccine while 2 050 830 had received the second dose.
Zimbabwe started vaccinating its citizens in February this year and hopes to achieve herd immunity by the end of the year when 10 million of its population is expected to have been vaccinated.
The country has received nearly 12 million doses of vaccines and the latest delivery of about 2,5 million doses was received recently.
Then national Covid-19 coordinator Dr Agnes Mahomva said the country had done well in rolling out the vaccines as it works towards vaccinating 60 percent or more of its citizens to achieve herd immunity.
She said the Government was strategic from the beginning and went on to set aside public funds for the vaccination exercise to ensure that they do not run out before the country attains herd immunity.
“We were strategic from the very start. It was clear what direction we were tracing hence our herd immunity target of 60 percent or more that we set from the word go. We made it clear who we were going to prioritise and these were health care workers but now the vaccination is open for every citizen,” said Dr Mahomva.
She said Government deliberately procured vaccines from multiple manufacturers and as such it has Sinopharm, Sinovac, Sputnik V and so on.
“This is why Zimbabwe hit the ground running and we are way ahead, we are leading the continent and indeed it is being acknowledged globally,” said Dr Mahomva.
She commended members of the public who came out in their numbers to be vaccinated thereby complementing
Government efforts to fight the pandemic.
Dr Mahomva urged those who are yet to be vaccinated to do so for their own protection and protection of others.
“We remain hopeful that we will achieve our ambitious target of vaccinating 60 percent or more of our people against Covid-19 and at the end of the day it’s you and me who should be vaccinated so that we achieve that” added Dr Mahomva.
Government has given unvaccinated civil servants up to 15 October to be vaccinated or face disciplinary action
It said after 15 October unvaccinated civil servants will not be allowed to report for duty.
The Public Service Commission has also said civil servants’ salaries will now be determined by the number of days they report for work hence attendance registers will be used to process salaries. So far, 90 percent of civil servants have been vaccinated.
According to the Public Health (Covid-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) Statutory Instrument 234 of 2021, those who would not have been vaccinated by 15 October will face disciplinary action. Anyone who presents a fake vaccination certificate will be charged with forgery.
Those with reasonable excuses for not being fully vaccinated by 15 October will enjoy extension of the vaccine mandate to no later than 31 December . — @thamamoe.