National COVID-19 vaccination programme begins

By ZBC Reporters

THE national vaccination programme has rolled into life across the country with senior medical practitioners taking the lead in the process where the government is targeting to inoculate 60 percent of the country’s population.

Vaccination started in all the country’s provinces amid indications that there has been a high turnout in some districts.

In Masvingo, a senior medical practitioner, Dr Phineas Makurira led the way in Masvingo district as he was the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr Makurira who is the city’s Director for Health Services highlighted the importance of the process in the fight against COVID-19 and urged fellow countrymen to consider being vaccinated.

“I am pro-vaccine, were you aware that the concept of vaccination can be traced back to Africa. It started in West Africa during the slave trade when a black African shared indigenous knowledge on vaccination. They used to take the fluid from a bullous eruption, which is the same principle being used today. So I am going to take my vaccine because I know vaccination works,” he said.

Masvingo District Medical Director, Dr Tinashe Muskwe said the programme kicked off well in various centres.

“Definitely there are people who are really receptive to vaccination. But as days pass by we will definitely know if the vaccine was received well. As of now we are at Makurura and another team is at Masvingo general hospital,’ he said

In Chiredzi, the District Medical Officer Dr Brian Dhlandhlara said the programme started well and they are expecting a better response as time progresses.

“We have started our vaccination program very well here in Chiredzi with two teams. The first is here at Chiredzi General Hospital while the other will be at Chikombedzi Hospital. Yes people are coming in small numbers and we are hoping the number will increase as the day progresses,” he said.

In Manicaland province, health workers were the first to be inoculated with the Sinopharm vaccine this Monday and they expressed confidence that the vaccine will go a long way in curbing the spread of the pandemic.

“I am very happy to be the first person to be inoculated. I encourage others to take their doses. I feel fine. I am glad to have been vaccination. I got my vaccine and I feel fine. This is a great initiative to protect frontline workers and Zimbabweans in general. The start of the vaccination programme has countered the myths that the process is dangerous. Our fears and misconceptions have been cleared,” they said.

Manicaland Provincial Medical Director, Dr Simon Nyadundu who was vaccinated at Victoria Chitepo provincial Hospital said the programme has come as a major relief.

“The roll-out of the vaccination has been set into motion after receiving 28 000 doses. The first phase of the programme will take ten days. The vaccination programme will have a positive impact on the health sector and all Zimbabweans,” he said.

ZBC News also witnessed the vaccination process getting underway in Chipinge District at Mt Selinda and St Peters Hospitals.

“We have kickstarted the vaccination program at two centres here in Chipinge at Mt Selinda and at St Peters Hospitals. I am quite impressed with the voluntary turn out of our health workforce who are leading from the front….” they said.

The newly appointed Minister of State for Manicaland Province, Cde Nokuthula Matsikenyere described the vaccination programme as a game-changer in the fight against COVID-19.

“The people of Manicaland are very happy with the intervention. We are grateful to President Mnangangwa for mobilising vaccines to protect the people. I want to urge the people of Manicaland to ignore the social media claims and protect themselves from the deadly pandemic,” she said.

The Vaccination Programme is expected to contain a deadly virus which has claimed more than one thousand lives in Zimbabwe.

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