Information in news and social media about vaccine introduced in Zimbabwe not true- Zimfact


Here is a list of people that, according to the WHO, cannot take the Pfizer vaccine or those that must exercise caution.

  • People with allergies
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women, “due to insufficient data”
  • Children; the Pfizer vaccine has only been tested in children above 16
  • Immune-compromised persons can be vaccinated only after “receiving information and counselling” because there isn’t enough data
  • People living with HIV can be vaccinated only after being counselled that there is “limited safety data”
  • People with hypertension, diabetes, asthma, pulmonary, liver or kidney disease can take the vaccine only if their condition is “stable and controlled”.

What about AstraZeneca?

This is what WHO says about this vaccine:

  • People living with HIV may be vaccinated, but must be told that there is no safety data
  • Breastfeeding women can be vaccinated only if they are in a priority group
  • Pregnant women may get the vaccine only “if the benefit of vaccinating a pregnant woman outweighs the potential vaccine risks”. An example of this would be a pregnant frontline worker.
  • People with severe allergies should not take the vaccine.
  • Children under 18 should not be vaccinated, as no tests were done on kids.

It is from such guidance that different governments come up with different approaches on who gets a vaccine, and who does not.

An example is the UAE, which is using both Sinopharm and Pfizer. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Health Ministry will not vaccinate people with severe allergies, pregnant and breastfeeding women, women who plan to get pregnant in the next three months, or those with a history of severe COVID-19 llness.

Similarly, the government of Cambodia issued its own guidance on Sinopharm, which excludes people with chronic illnesses, children, as well as other groups. That country’s guidance has also circulated widely on Zimbabwean social media.


The Sinopharm information in the widely circulated image is based on recommendations issued on most vaccines. Data is still limited on all vaccines, and the WHO and other experts have issued recommendations that governments are using differently.- Zimfact


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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