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Lawyers Raise Alarm Over Improper Vaccination Cards

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has asked the Ministry of Health and Child Care to issue proper vaccination cards to vaccinated people to avoid compromising the ongoing countrywide inoculation programme.

In a letter written to Health and Child Care Minister Constantino Chiwenga, ZLHR lawyer Paidamoyo Saurombe advised the Vice-President that the human rights organization had observed that some vaccination centers were not issuing vaccination cards and were instead issuing out handwritten papers as vaccination cards.

Saurombe stated that considering the efforts being made by the Ministry of Health and Child Care to roll out coronavirus vaccines across the country, the failure to issue out proper vaccination cards will compromise these efforts.

Although vaccination is voluntary in the country, the increase in incidents in which a vaccination certificate is required has created a huge demand for the document.

An investigation by the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) has exposed that some health workers were reportedly demanding bribes to release COVID-19 vaccination cards to unvaccinated people.

”At the commencement of the vaccination programme, Chiwenga’s ministry indicated that paper vaccination cards were being issued as a stop-gap measure while electronic vaccination cards would be issued out.

”It appears the Ministry of Health and Child Care is retrogressing to issuing out handwritten notes in place of electronic cards,” he said.

Saurombe reminded Chiwenga that the right to health care and human dignity enshrined in the Constitution can only be realized when proper documentation is issued out to people.

He expressed fears that the vaccination programme will be derailed and compromised if proper documentation is not issued out to people accessing vaccination at some treatment centres hence it is in the government and people’s interest to have proper documentation issued out.

Saurombe asked Chiwenga to advise ZLHR on the progress that has been made in having electronic cards issued out and the immediate measures that the Ministry of Health and Child Care will take to have proper vaccination cards issued out.

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