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Zimbabwe launches Covid-19 vaccination blitz

by Staff reporter
17 Mar 2022 at 05:41hrs | Views
THE Government will on Monday roll out the national Covid-19 vaccination blitz targeting a wider section of the population that includes children aged 12 years and above, as moves to increase the uptake of the vaccines gather pace.

Despite availability of vaccines, the national vaccination campaign, which began a year ago, had stalled owing to reduced demand.

Speaking at the post-Cabinet briefing yesterday, acting Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu, said it was important for all citizens to receive the jab.

"The National Vaccination blitz/campaign will kick off on Monday, March 21, 2022 and the Government is urging those that have not yet been vaccinated to take advantage of this exercise to do so," he said.

Last month, the Cabinet approved the administration of the vaccine to children aged 12 years after the Paediatric Association of Zimbabwe, a grouping of specialists in child health, gave the green light.

This means that the 12 to 15 year age group will also start receiving the jab after the 16-17 year group which was approved late last year.

Government has mobilised teams to move into secondary schools to carry out the vaccinations and will also add the Covid-19 vaccination to the general childhood vaccination programmes.

The blitz will also include all other eligible citizens who have not yet received their vaccine shots.

As at March 15, a total of 4 401 450 first doses of the vaccine had been administered, while 3 426 112 people had received their second dose. A total of 159 628 booster shots had been administered.

Zimbabwe has set targets to vaccinate 60 percent of its total population to achieve herd immunity.

Minister Ndlovu said the Covid-19 pandemic was still raging and urged the public to remain vigilant.

"The Government is appealing to all Zimbabweans to take the Covid-19 pandemic seriously and as such are required to continue to adhere to the laid down World Health Organisation and national protocols at all times.

"These protocols include the following: the wearing of masks correctly at all times; washing of hands and; observing social distance. The citizens are being urged to be on their guard at all times to minimise infections," he added.

The number of new Covid-19 cases has been gradually increasing over the past weeks with 3 306 cases being recorded during the week under review, up from 3 234 recorded the previous week bringing the total number of active cases to 5 151.

Cumulatively, Zimbabwe has recorded 243 365 cases since 2020, with 232 787 recoveries and 5 417 deaths.

The number of people in need of hospitalisation for Covid-19 continued to decline, with the country's bed occupancy rate now at 3 percent from 3.2 percent the previous week.

The rise in new cases has been attributed to outbreaks recorded in schools, where 606 learners have tested positive to Covid-19 since the beginning of the first term.

"The majority of the infected learners (422) were day scholars, which is indicative that the infections are from the communities," said Minister Ndlovu.

Source - The Herald
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