Govt calls on retired nurses to boost vaccination program


Harare (New Ziana) – Cabinet on Tuesday approved the recruitment of retired nurses as part of several strategies to ramp up the COVID-19 vaccination program as Zimbabwe targets to attain herd immunity by the end of this year.

Zimbabwe commenced its inoculation programme early this year and has so far fared well compared to other countries on the continent through a well choreographed vaccine roll out plan.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said going forward government would employ other strategies including increasing outreach teams for remote areas from an average of two to four.

To incentivise the vaccination teams, the payment model of allowances for the vaccinators will be changed and will now be
based on the number of persons vaccinated.

“The Health Services Board has written to Treasury seeking concurrence to recruit retired nurses to participate in the vaccination programme,” she said.

Cabinet had also approved the “Use of non-medical staff such as data capturers to free nurses so that they concentrate on vaccination and the extension of the vaccination programme to clinics in higher and tertiary learning institutions.”

Mutsvangwa said the country was expecting to purchase 2.5 million more vaccine doses this month while a further 3.5 million would be received in September under the COVAX vaccine distribution platform.

She said as of August, 2, a total of 1 674 710 people had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while 798 880 their second dose.

“Vaccination in border town hotspots and people’s markets is ongoing, with the highest coverage of the first dose being recorded in Mutare City, Victoria Falls City, Kariba and Chiredzi. The highest coverage for the 2nd dose was recorded in Victoria Falls and Nyamapanda,” she said.

She said the country, which has recorded a cumulative 27 800 cases since the outbreak, recorded a decline in new cases over the past week, a sign that the third wave could be slowing down.

“Government notes that there was a slight decrease in weekly cases from 14 275 during the week ending 27 July 2021, to 11 652 in week ending 2 August 2021. The decline is mostly attributable to the infection prevention and control efforts instituted by government in response to the third wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Areas which recorded the most significant numbers of new cases were Harare Metropolitan Province (2 361), Mashonaland East Province (1 523), Mashonaland West Province (1 136), Manicaland Province (1 361) and Masvingo Province (1 106),” she said.
New Ziana

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