Kwekwe, (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday completed his Covid-19 vaccination after getting his second dose of the Chinese manufactured Sinovac vaccine, and urged people to get inoculated for the country to return to normalcy.
Zimbabwe launched its Covid-19 vaccination programme on February 18, with Vice President Constantino Chiwenga getting the first jab.
President Mnangagwa got vaccinated a month later.
Speaking at an event where he got the second dose, President Mnangagwa warned people against complacency especially now as winter, which presents an ideal for Covid-19 to spread, approaches.
“Safe and effective vaccines significantly contribute to preventing severe disease and death from Covid-19. I am encouraged by the on-going uptake of the vaccines by the targeted groups under Phase 1 and Phase Two of the vaccination programmes,” he said.
“Vaccines are indeed a critical tool in the battle against Covid-19, and getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect oneself, others and our nation as a whole, from the deadly pandemic.”
To date, nearly 300 000 people have gotten the first jab of the vaccines. The country has so far received 1.9 million doses of vaccines from China and India.
No cases of adverse reactions to the vaccines have to date been recorded in the country, President Mnangagwa said.
Zimbabwe is in the long term targeting to vaccinate at least 10 million people to achieve herd immunity.
But as vaccination goes on, the government has relaxed lockdown rules to allow the economy to return to near normal, while emphasizing adherence to set World Health Organisation Covid-19 prevention protocols.
But officials have warned that complacency seems to be creeping in, posing a risk of a potential third wave.
The country has since March last year recorded nearly 40 000 cases of infection and 1 555 deaths.
The recovery rate, as at April 22, stood at 93 percent.
“We should however not become complacent. Global Covid-19 trends reveal that countries where populations have reluctantly adhered to preventative measures as experiencing subsequent surges of new infections,” President Mnangagwa said.
“We cannot afford to let our guard down, more so as we approach the winter season.”
He said government was ready to deal with cases of infections at schools which recorded over 100 Covid-19 cases among students over a week ago.
“Fortunately, all cases are mild while affected learners and staff are isolated and quarantined,” he said.
“Sufficient vaccines are available for the vaccination of teachers, who have been prioritised under our national Covid-19 vaccination programme.”