With around 30 000 Zimbabweans now vaccinated against Covid-19, only one person has reported possible side effects, a rash, and Minister of Health and Child Care Vice President Constantino Chiwenga vaccinated two weeks ago, has described the negativity in some circles as a function of misconceptions and mistaken beliefs.
He was the first Zimbabwean to be vaccinated, taking the lead to show that he trusted his experts when they declared the vaccine safe, and in the two weeks since taking the vaccine, he has not encountered any side effects from the Sinopharm jab.
VP Chiwenga showed the way when Government began the first phase of an elaborate vaccination programme aimed at achieving 60 percent herd immunity.
Speaking to journalists at his Kaguvi offices yesterday, VP Chiwenga urged the rest of the citizenry to be inoculated when the opportunity arrives.
“I didn’t feel anything at all and I am okay. As you have seen I am working and I am fit 100 percent. There is nothing wrong with this vaccine, the vaccine is intended to save lives,” said VP Chiwenga.
“In this case, this is a pandemic which if not controlled the virus mutates and we will be with it for a long time and we will lose many lives. The best way to stop the spread of this virus is to get vaccinated.
“Once one has been vaccinated you have protected yourself and also protected others. This is why we are rushing for what we call the herd immunity of 60 percent. We are very aware that if we do not do it we will have a big price to pay,” said VP Chiwenga.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care clarified why the pregnant, the old and those with underlying conditions whose condition was unstable were being discouraged from taking the vaccine.
“Naturally pregnant women are a special group. They are usually excluded from all the vaccination programmes,” said Dr Raiva Simbi.
“Those with comorbidities, underlying chronic illnesses, can be vaccinated if they are stable, but if they are not we discourage them from getting vaccinated.
“Then the elderly. These usually have some underlying conditions, but as long as they are stable they can take the vaccines.”
He said the vaccines are aimed at boosting people’s immunity against the virus to give individuals a chance of fighting the infection.
The ongoing Covid-19 vaccination programme being undertaken by Government is targeting frontline workers. The programme has received a huge uptake with the generality of the population awaiting their turn.