and Jeffrey Muvundusi
SENIOR STAFF WRITERS
THE Covid-19 vaccination drive will move a gear up today following the delivery of doses to all the provinces and districts at the weekend.
This comes after President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday urged Zimbabweans to embrace the ongoing inoculation programme, saying the vaccines are completely safe.
The vaccination campaign kicked off last week Thursday, with Vice President Constantino Chiwenga — who is also Zimbabwe’s Health minister — becoming the first person in the country to take the SinoPharm jab.
And according to information from the ministry of Health at least “39 people including the VP…Chiwenga, 14 doctors, eight journalists, 15 other frontline workers and a member of the general public took the jab.
“The vaccine has since been dispatched to all the provinces where vaccination will begin on Monday 22 February 2021,” said the ministry said on Twitter.
Speaking after receiving the Matabeleland North consignment yesterday, Provincial minister Richard Moyo said they have since set up teams to cover all the districts.
“We realised that our people are not aware of this vaccine and those who know don’t properly understand it. As a result we decided to set up awareness teams for all the districts, such that they can reach out to all the people. So we are already on the ground,” Moyo said.
The province received 8 610 doses which will be distributed to the seven administrative districts, with distribution having started on Friday.
“What I want to encourage the people of Mat North is that, since they witnessed…Chiwenga taking the first jab, it’s an assurance that the vaccine is safe so people should not be afraid. I will also lead by example here in the province,” Moyo said.
Meanwhile, the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) chairperson, Ambrose Sibindi, said people must stop discouraging each other ahead of the immunisation programme.
“It is good that the vaccines are here but since there have been mixed feelings from residents it is critical for residents not to discourage each other, since the government was very clear that the vaccine would be administered on a voluntary basis.
“People should not discourage others, let those who want to take the vaccine take it and those who do not want it should not discourage others. It is better for them to watch from a distance,” Sibindi said.
The Bulawayo City Council on Friday revealed that six high-density areas top in confirmed cases and fatalities.
These are Emganwini, Nketa, Cowdray Park, Nkulumane, Pumula and the city centre.
Bulawayo targets to vaccinate nearly 6 000 frontline workers. The city has five teams to spearhead the process.