Matabeleland leads Covid-19 vaccination coverage

01 Aug, 2022 - 00:08 0 Views

The Chronicle

Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Senior Health Reporter

MATABELELAND region continues to dominate Covid-19 vaccination coverage as the country drives towards achieving herd immunity where at least 60 percent of the eligible population should get two doses of the vaccine.

This comes amid positive strides in containing Covid-19 infections with new cases declining countrywide as last week a 28 percent decrease was recorded.

As of Saturday, Zimbabwe had 256 378 confirmed cases, including 250 316 recoveries and 5 577 deaths. 

Statistics from the Ministry of Health and Child Care show for the first dose, Matabeleland North leads at 68,7 percent followed by Matabeleland South and Bulawayo both at 66,1 percent against a national average of 56,7 percent.

Although Bulawayo has been leading the vaccination drive in terms of percentage coverage, figures show that uptake has been stagnant for the past few months hence it has been overtaken by sister provinces within the region.

Bulawayo has recorded 54,4 percent of second dose coverage, Matabeleland North 53,2 percent while Matabeleland South 50,4 percent against a national average of 42,1 percent.

Nationally the third dose coverage stands at 8,3 percent and Bulawayo and Matabeleland North lead at 13,3 percent followed by Matabeleland South at 12,9 percent.

To meet targets Bulawayo is aiming to vaccinate a total of 569 010, Matabeleland North 606 338 while Matabeleland South has a target of 556 293.

Bulawayo provincial medical director Dr Maphios Siamuchembu said although the province was still leading, its figures had remained stagnant for a long time.

He called on residents to get vaccinated in numbers as there are many who have not received their first dose.

“Our vaccination figures have been leading in the country in terms of percent coverage since the whole programme started.

“You will, however, notice that we have been stagnant for now, our dose one has been overtaken by other provinces, which is a cause for concern,” said Dr Siamuchembu.

“We are still leading in terms of the second and the booster dose but we appeal to citizens because we still haven’t achieved herd immunity, we need 60 percent of our population to be vaccinated. Covid is still with us. 

“We need to continuously practise control measures that we know of and be vigilant in wearing masks avoiding crowded places. Our new case numbers are not frightening but people are still getting sick and a few dying,” said Dr Siamuchembu.

Last week Cabinet advised the nation that for citizens to fully benefit from the vaccines, they should be vigilant in getting all available doses.

“The nation is also being advised that no new cases were reported during the week by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. 

“Cabinet wishes to advise that those who received their first dose need to get the second dose in order to benefit from the vaccination exercise,” said Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, in her post Cabinet media briefing.

Minister Monica Mutsvangwa

“Regarding the national vaccination programme, a total of 6 372 958 first doses had been administered, while 4 449 305 people had received their second dose and 937 898 their third dose. 

“Cabinet wishes to advise that those who received their first dose need to get the second dose in order to benefit from the vaccination exercise.”

Health and Child Care Deputy Minister, Dr John Mangwiro, could not be reached for comment but he is on record urging people to make use of the readily available vaccines to save their lives.

Minister Dr John Mangwiro

He recently said statistics continue showing that most of those who are vaccinated do not develop deadly Covid-19 symptoms.

The Government of Zimbabwe has procured over 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines which are adequate for all the people eligible to be vaccinated. – @thamamoe.

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