MEMBERS of the white garment apostolic churches have pledged their support for the country’s Covid-19 vaccination programme, adding they too want to be inoculated against the killer disease.
This comes as the country is set to roll out the vaccination programme this week after it received its first batch of 200 000 doses of SinoPharm vaccine on Monday from China.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily News yesterday, leader of the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ), Johannes Ndanga said apostolic sect leaders would allow their congregants to take the vaccine when it is rolled out despite their beliefs of healing through prayer, not medicines.
“Apostolic churches will take this vaccine because we trust the government has its people at heart and it will do what is best for everyone,” said Ndanga.
He said their decision to discard their beliefs in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic was premised on their trust that the government would be thorough and make sure it is safe for the people.
“Our government should also have a team of scientists who will be advising the government on everything to do with the vaccine so that they will be sure of its safety,” said Ndanga.
In the past, apostolic sect congregants, especially of the Johane Marange denomination as well as others, have been accused of refusing to have their children immunised against polio and measles, leading to high infant mortality rates in the church.
This comes as health experts, including Ingutsheni Hospital psychiatrist, Nemache Mawere, warned the public against posting information they are not sure about and causing unnecessary alarm on the vaccine.
“Once someone sees information that has been posted on social media … they tend to think it’s true even without clarifying from the right people and the information is registered in their minds which explains the fear in people about the vaccine issue,” said Mawere.
“Zimbabwe has not even recorded the highest number of deaths compared to other countries, yet it has been labelled to be the epicentre of Covid-19 and that makes people panic even when it is not necessary.