The coronavirus pandemic is likely to be with us for the next two to three years so it is important that Zimbabwe attains herd immunity by vaccinating 60% of the population, Deputy Health Minister John Mangwiro told Parliament yesterday.
He was responding to a question from Thokozani Khupe who wanted to know if the country was going to attain herd immunity before the end of this year and whether the country had enough vaccines.
Mangwiro said 40% of the population had now been vaccinated (at least one dose) and the government was now targetting 16 and 17 year olds most of whom were still at school.
“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,” he said.
“Also the vaccines are plenty-some; we still have enough to get us there. Next week, we are expecting to receive another million additional vaccines, which means we are on course. Every week, we have something prepared, bought by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development where we are expecting delivery.
“So I implore Members of the House to also go out in full force with us, be it Hon. Senators, Members of Parliament and Ministers, to make sure we achieve the herd immunity that we want, of 60%. I must remind Hon. Members that this pandemic is likely to be with us until maybe 2023/24.”
According to the Financial Times vaccine tracker 40.8% of the Zimbabweans have been vaccinated with 22.9% on one dose and 17.9% fully vaccinated.
Botswana is now in the lead with 43.7% but 30.7% have received one dose and 13% are fully vaccinated.
South Africa is at 39.2% but 26.7% have received one dose and 21.8% are fully vaccinated. South Africa uses Johnson and Johnson vaccine which only requires one dose as well as others like Pfizer which require two doses.
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