Health officials invade schools to bump up Covid-19 vaccination

By Nkosana Dlamini

Government is set to dispatch scores of health officials to both day and boarding schools throughout the country in the coming weeks to administer Covid-19 vaccination on pupils between 16 and 17 years of age as it turns to the younger population of citizens to prop up its spirited drive towards a targeted 60 percent national herd immunity by year end.

This was revealed in parliament Wednesday by Health and Child Care Deputy Minister John Mangwiro.

Mangwiro said the country has inoculated almost 40 percent of the population and was still keen on the targeted 60 percent by end of 2021.

He added, “In the same vein, we have said as Government, those between 16 and 17 can now be vaccinated and most of them are our Form Four to Upper Six students.

“These make a large number of our population – we all know that Zimbabwe’s population is mainly the young ones.

“So, we are out to vaccinate these young people within the shortest space of time, maybe in the next two to three weeks, we are going to be going to schools to vaccinate them on site.”

This comes amid concerns of a vaccine apathy among some locals who have attached the global process to a lot of unproven myths – some religious – while others have cited fears of complicating their health woes if they took the drug.

Mangwiro said authorities have been engaging Provincial Ministers, PMDs, church leaders, traditional leaders in efforts to spread the gospel of vaccination and herd immunity.

He said the country has enough stocks of the life saving drug for every willing citizen.

The top government official was quick to say the dreaded pandemic is “likely to be with us until maybe 2023/24”.

He added, “Other countries have started seeing the fourth wave now, so we are quite familiar that once the fourth wave starts somewhere, definitely it will come to us. So, we want the fourth wave when we have done our best in terms of vaccination.”

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