By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Zimbabwe’s national vaccination programme is progressing very well in Masvingo with a large number of people reportedly now demanding the vaccine after initial hesitation, according to provincial COVID-19 taskforce spokesperson Rogers Irimayi.
“We have seen large numbers of people visiting vaccination centres, people queuing for very long. Maybe it is because of the third wave that we are in and people are really concerned,” he said.
At the peak of the third wave in July, data from the province showed that in one week some 35,000 doses where administered, 5,000 doses above the previous week’s 30,000.
The figures were culled from Masvingo’s share of two million doses that had been distributed to the country’s 10 provinces.
Irimayi said according to government guidelines, all people above 18 were eligible to be vaccinated, but the jabs remained free.
While the vaccination pace had improved, the programme still faced with some expected logistical problems, including that of dealing with massive turnout of people at the same time at some vaccination centres.
“So because of the overwhelming response some people visit the vaccination centre and as they will be waiting their turn to get the jab, the stocks might have run out so the staff who will be vaccinating might have to restock so there will be a slight delay as they will be rushing to collect more vaccines,” he said.
To ease crowding, Irimayi said, the Masvingo taskforce was encouraging people to use their nearest clinics as many of them were already designated vaccination centres.
“We are also encouraging people to ensure that they continue adhering to the government regulations. They are not supposed to forget that even after vaccination, they can still infect or get infected. So the vaccine will only help them to control the virus so that you will not get severe conditions,” he said.