Govt ropes in security personnel to augment vaccination exercise
Harare (New Ziana) – Government has roped in additional personnel from the security services sector to boost manpower involved in the COVID-19 vaccination programme, which is now in full swing across the country.
Zimbabwe commenced its vaccination exercise early this year, initially prioritising frontline workers only.
But because the exercise has now been opened to everyone, coupled with a resurging wave of infections, vaccine demand has spiked resulting in long queues at various vaccination centres.
As such, government, Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said, had seen it fit to rope in extra hands.
“Cabinet is pleased to note that citizens across the country continue to present themselves for vaccination in large numbers. In order to minimise time spent in queues, extra personnel from the security (services) and defence forces has been harnessed so as to increase the numbers of personnel at the vaccination centres,” she said in her weekly Post Cabinet Briefing.
“Cabinet advises that the roll-out of vaccination in hotspots and border posts is in full swing, mass vaccination will also be extended to rural areas which are identified as hotspots.”
Zimbabwe, which took delivery of two million Sinovac jabs on Thursday last week, has so far spent US$40 million to procure vaccines from China, while it has also received donations from India and Russia.
According to a vaccine distribution programme published this week, at least eight Provinces have been allocated 50 000 doses each while two Metropolitan Provinces (Harare and Bulawayo) have been allocated 100 000 doses each in the initial round of allocations.
Mutsvangwa said on top of the vaccination programme, government was making several other interventions to deal with the current wave of infections.
“The surge in cases has led to an increase in demand for beds in hospitals hence government is expediting the full capacitation of isolation and treatment centres throughout the country,” she said.
“In view of the increasing number of cases Cabinet agreed that there should be enhanced enforcement of restrictions on the movement of people, His Excellency the President has already issued directives as the 14 day lockdown period draws to an end,” she said.
“Furthermore, the Ministry of Health and Child Care, working with relevant Government Departments, is taking measures to ensure that vaccination, rapid response and case management teams are supported with vehicles, fuel and subsistence allowance to ensure that the country achieves herd immunity.”