Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
THE ongoing Covid-19 vaccination programme being rolled out countrywide targeting frontline workers has ignited excitement among those who have taken the jab with some of them taking to social media to celebrate getting inoculated.
Zimbabwe is among the first African countries to vaccinate its citizens against Covid-19.
The country received 200 000 Covid-19 vaccine doses from China last week on Monday and three days later Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga launched the national vaccination programme and was the first citizen to be vaccinated.
The frontline workers being vaccinated include health workers, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) officials, Customs and Immigration employees, journalists and members of the security sector.
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.
The inoculation of citizens will enable the country to achieve 60 percent herd immunity.
The country’s Covid-19 vaccination programme is going on smoothly and by Thursday a total of 11 007 frontline workers had been inoculated against Covid-19.
Below are excerpts from what some of the frontline workers have said after receiving the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine.
Medical doctor Dr Grant Murewanhema posted on Twitter on Monday saying:
“Excited that together with a number of my colleagues we received our doses of Sinopharm SARS-CoV-2 vaccines today, and we are hopeful that this will spread across the country as we continue to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. We have collective responsibility to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, and we continue practising infection prevention and control protocols until we beat this pandemic. We are all for the return of normalcy one day.”
Using the same platform, Community Health Working Group Health director Mr Itai Rusike said: “I’ve had my first #Covid19vaccine jab. It gives me hope of liberation.”
Journalist and Chronicle reporter Leonard Ncube posted on Facebook.
“Health matters are a personal choice, taking Covid-19 jab is voluntary, but the effect, either side of the bar has an impact on family and society at large. I made a choice and got jabbed, for me, for my family, for my community and my country,” said Ncube.
ZBC newscaster Zandile “Zaza” Ndlovu posted on Instagram a video of her being vaccinated with the caption:
“Guess who has just gotten her Sinopharm vaccination from Parirenyatwa Hospital. It was quick and painless. I didn’t feel a thing.”
Star FM reporter Mkhululi Ncube said the public should be guided by science as opposed to disinformation hence his decision to take the vaccine.
“I had to do my research and thereafter made a decision regarding vaccination. It will assist me when I communicate with members of the public because I have verified information about the vaccination. Even when we do interviews with authorities, I am in a better position to understand how the vaccine works.
We, need also to fight fake information being circulated by some people with regards to Covid-19 vaccinations. People must make informed decisions on their lives based on correct information and not rumours.”
In an interview on the ongoing vaccination programme, National Covid-19 taskforce co-ordinator in the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Agnes Mahomva said while the vaccination started slowly on Monday as it was a holiday, the figures have been rising ever since.
“The good news is that so far we haven’t had any hitches with our vaccination rollout. People are being vaccinated, we are seeing them on their social media groups and where-ever being excited about it. And we are saying the public should be excited about their health. You as an individual, as a community, let’s jump on it and run on it together,” said Dr Mahomva.
She said the benefits of taking the Covid-19 vaccines outweigh the risk of not taking it.
“We are aware that there is no vaccination that is 100 percent but we are also aware that when you get vaccinated, if for some reason you get the virus, you would protect yourself from death. And we are saying to the public look at the risk that we had in January, people were falling ill, people were dying. D
o you want that for your family and community? No. While you are fearing and thinking that this vaccine came up too fast, they had to come up with it fast because this pandemic is killing people. You can’t wait for 10 years while studying vaccines because communities would be wiped out,” she said.
Dr Mahomva said Government continues to monitor data that is being received during the rollout plan as this will determine the return to normal life.
“The data helps us analyse our progress so that we are able to continue on the correct path, strengthen and move forward. This is why I say figures are significant because it helps us revisit our strategy if there are any shortcomings so that we continue to improve on our rollout programme,” said Dr Mahomva.