Health experts have urged Zimbabweans to take up vaccines saying it is the only way the country can succeed in its effort to curtail further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zimbabwe received a donation of 200 000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines from China yesterday with the government saying the first priority will be given to frontline workers inclusive of nurses, doctors and security personnel.
In an interview with a local publication, consultant paediatrician Dr Wedu Ndebele said vaccines were important to curtail the spread of the deadly pandemic that has to date claimed over 1200 lives in Zimbabwe.
“For us to get what we call herd immunity there should be enough people vaccinated to curtail or stop the transmission. Usually for you to do that you need to vaccinate about two thirds of the population and that is why we are talking of between 60 to 70 percent of the population,” he said.
“As you can see now all the cases that we are getting are from the communities, which means that transmissions are from person to person. If enough people are vaccinated, it means that even if one person has Covid-19 and gets into contact with a vaccinated person that person won’t be infected. We encourage people to get vaccinated especially those that are at high risk. In terms of the efficacy the experts will guide us.”
Another top health expert, Dr Rita Dlodlo said she fully supports the vaccination programme as it will help reduce the number of Covid-19 related deaths.
“I am pro-vaccination because you will note that for all the diseases for which vaccines were accessed, lives have been saved and for example, in Zimbabwe millions of children’s lives have been saved under the national immunization programs,” she said.
“As Covid-19 is also a threat in our community, especially productive members of the community, we need to employ all protocol measures to prevent the spread so I support the roll out programme of these vaccines. This is a way of creating immunity within a community or population,” she added.
The government has also purchased 600 000 jabs from China that are expected to be delivered next month while more will be purchased from Russia.
According to Reuters quoting United Arab Emirates’ health ministry, the Sinopharm vaccine has proven to be 86 percent effective in preventing moderate and severe cases of the disease. Its success paves the way for mass inoculations and a re-opening of its economy.