Senior Health Reporter
The uptake of Covid-19 vaccines has significantly increased in the last week as more people in the second stage of the roll out start coming forward.
Long winding queues have been witnessed at Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital and other vaccination centres as teachers, the elderly, those in the security services, the judiciary and people with chronic illnesses joined the initial target group of frontline workers.
Many churches have also come forth to have hundreds of their priests and pastors vaccinated after Government relaxed measures allowing them to congregate in limited numbers.
For example, on Tuesday last week, over 50 pastors from the Salvation Army joined the multitudes of people who wanted to get their jabs.
Territorial Commander for the Salvation Army in Zimbabwe Botswana and Madagascar, Commissioner Wayne Bungay said it was important for pastors to get the shot to protect themselves and their congregants.
“As Christians, we believe that the word of God is the undeniable truth and it gives us many lessons. We learnt that over time, God reveals his knowledge, wisdom, creativity and ability and he gives that to human beings. He has supplied the science community all around the world with wisdom and understanding through research, through technology to come up with vaccines to battle such a pandemic,” he said.
He said nearly 600 more Salvation Army pastors across Zimbabwe were waiting their turn to get the vaccination.
“We hope all of our congregation will eventually be vaccinated so that we can get back to our fellowship because the need in the country is great and we are limited on how far we can travel which is impacting our ministry in a negative way,” said Commissioner Bungay.
The elderly have also continued to come in numbers to receive the vaccination.
Gogo Olivia Shoniwa (69) said she had seen one of her children suffering from Covid-19 and this had prompted her to get vaccinated as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
“I came here because this disease is very vicious so we want to protect myself. I have been waiting for this opportunity to get the vaccine. I encourage people to come forth and get the vaccine so that we can conquer this pandemic which has killed many people,” she said.
Another senior citizen Mrs Rose Zvikaramba said she got her first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine at Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital.
“I was encouraged by my children to take the jab, and also the information I have been seeing on the news made me realise that my age is a risk factor, hence I got vaccinated,” she said.
Retired nurse Mrs Winifrieda Jokonya said: “
We were a little apprehensive at first, but at the end of the day we realised this is the way to go. If other people are having it and surviving, why not have it too?”
Head of Zimpapers Knowledge Centre Tendai Manzvanzvike said she got her second Sinopharm vaccine on March 26.
“I decided to be vaccinated because it’s the only normal thing to do, to protect myself and other people from Covid-19. Going for the 2nd jab was more encouraging because I’d no side effects with the 1st one.”