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HomeNewsOne Year On: Zim Reflects On COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign

One Year On: Zim Reflects On COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign

Yesterday marked a year since Zimbabwe launched the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign amid encouraging numbers of over four million people having been inoculated against the deadly pandemic.

Zimbabwe launched its national COVID-19 vaccination campaign on February 22 last year, making it one of the first African countries to roll out the life saving vaccines.

The country’s COVID-19 response coordinator, Dr Agnes Mahomva, said a clear policy framework on the pandemic response had contributed to the good management of the disease.

“We are proud of the progress that we have made in the program. The big achievement was that the Government had a clear policy and plan on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the vaccination program and other prevention measures. From the onset, the Government set aside US$100 million for the procurement of vaccines and this went a long way to ensure that we were prepared,” she said.

“Even though donations came, we did not wait for those but we went out and purchased our own vaccines and this helped in our drive to vaccinate citizens. The vaccination program has achieved its objective in that we have not recorded as many cases and deaths as we would have. By the time we were hit by the Omicron variant during the fourth wave, we had already vaccinated a significant number of people and we didn’t register high numbers of severely ill patients. You will see that the number of cases we recorded in the fourth wave was lower than what we recorded during the other waves,” said Dr Mahomva,” she said.

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She added it was important to get more people vaccinated to ensure that the country continued to record fewer cases in the future.

Emirates

Although still low, there has been a slight increase in the number of new cases recorded over the past week prompting concerns that Zimbabwe could be facing a fifth wave in the near future.

Dr Mahomva however said there was no way of telling if the current trends were pointing towards a fifth wave yet.

Acting Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Joram Gumbo yesterday said the government is pushing the pace of vaccine rollout to ensure infection rates and the number of deaths remain low even if there is another wave.

“Regarding the national vaccination program, Cabinet advises the nation that as of 18 February 2022, the cumulative number of first, second and third doses administered stood at 4 336 120, 3 369 172 as well as 101 748 respectively. Of concern is the low vaccine coverages for Chitungwiza City (25.5%), Mashonaland East Provinces (31.6%), and Mashonaland West Province (28.8%),” said Gumbo.

“During that during the week under review, 145 learners in 38 schools tested positive for COVID-19, while 11 members of staff also tested positive. All the active cases detected through the schools’ surveillance system are under isolation and being managed in accordance with the relevant protocols,” he added.

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As of February 21, a total of 4 337 829 people had received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine while 3 370 827 have received two jabs. Another 103 483 people have received the booster shot.

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