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Bulawayo weeks away from achieving herd immunity

by Staff reporter
17 Oct 2021 at 08:59hrs | Views
BULAWAYO is a few weeks away from attaining Covid-19 herd immunity with officials however, revealing that their daily average had slightly gone down as compared to figures from the past two months.

Last month,  Government announced Bulawayo could be the second city in the country to achieve herd immunity with 52 percent of the population in the city having received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. In April, Victoria Falls was the first city to attain herd immunity following a roll out of mass vaccination against Covid-19 in March led by President Mnangagwa.

Experts believe herd immunity against Covid-19 can be achieved if between 60-70 percent of the population is vaccinated.

In an interview yesterday, the city health director, Dr Edwin Sibanda, expressed confidence that the herd immunity goal was now more than a reality. Dr Sibanda revealed that as at Friday the city had inoculated a total of 254 771 people with the first dose while 218 587 people had got their second dose.

According to the last census, the city has slightly more than 653 000 people of which almost 40 percent are those that are under the age of 15 years, and not yet eligible for Covid-19 vaccination. He said that what needed to be clarified which will up the numbers of those vaccinated was the issue of the inoculation of the 14 to 17 years age group.
"The herd immunity goal is very possible although for now our daily average has slightly decreased as compared to previous months but people are still coming to our stations to get inoculated.

I believe for us to reach the herd immunity faster is if the issue of the 14 to 17 year olds being vaccinated is clarified, once that is done the drive towards herd immunity will be faster," said Dr Sibanda.

Government is on record as saying plans were underway to vaccinate children between the ages of 14 and 17 years.

"For now we call on those that have not as yet vaccinated to go to all our stations and play their part in the fight against the pandemic and further, people should not relax and must continue to adhere to the World Health Organisation prescribed prevention measures like  wearing of face masks, sanitising of hands and social distancing," said Dr Sibanda.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Health and Child Care as at 15 October 2021, Zimbabwe had 132 285 confirmed cases since March last year, including 126 034 recoveries and 4 655 deaths. To date, a total of 3 408 474 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in the country.

Zimbabwe's recovery rate has risen to 95 percent, with 97 hospitalised cases as at Friday, 27 new hospital admissions, 10 asymptomatic cases, 63 mild to moderate cases, 15 severe cases and nine people were in Intensive Care Units in various parts of the country.

Source - The Sunday News
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