Public policy think tank, the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) says a drop in vaccine uptake is threatening the country’s Covid-19 December 2021 herd immunity target.
According to an Access to Public Health Monitoring Report for September, ZDI blamed the drop in vaccine uptake to lack of strategy in terms of information dissemination.
“The achievement of Covid-19 herd immunity in Zimbabwe by December 2021 appears to be facing a challenge of a significant drop in vaccine uptake. Between 26 July 2021 and 26 August there was an increase of 962 036 vaccinations done in Zimbabwe.
“However, during the same period from 26 August 2021 to 26 September 2021 an increase in vaccinations stood at 583 484. This drop in vaccination rate can be attributed to lack of a strategy to break the existing rural-urban divide in terms of information and awareness on Covid-19 vaccination and the need to reach a target of herd immunity.
“The period under review came in a context in which Covid-19 vaccination rate is dropping amid uncertainty over the attainment of herd immunity by December 2021,” noted ZDI.
The think tank called on the Government to strengthen awareness of Covid-19 vaccinations to boost uptake and put in place measures to protect against theft of vaccination cards.
“Intensify Covid-19 vaccination awareness both in urban and rural areas to boost the vaccination uptake as the country eyes to achieve herd immunity by December 2021. Putting in place adequate security measures and close loopholes in the issuance of Covid-19 cards. Immediately address challenges faced by public healthcare centres visited by Deputy Minister John Mangwiro Ensuring a robust distribution process of Covid-19 vaccines across all vaccination centres,” read the report.