Tanyaradzwa Rusike and Nokuthula Dube, Harare Bureau
CLOSE to 99 percent of all Government workers in Zimbabwe have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 ahead of next month’s deadline by which all civil servants must be immunised or face disciplinary action.
This comes as authorities have set in a motion a plan to set up vaccination centres at schools after the approval of the vaccination of teenagers over the age of 16 earlier this month. The vaccination of teenagers is expected to inject further impetus into the country’s immunisation programme, which was beginning to lose momentum with the passing of the Third wave of the coronavirus.
Data obtained from the Public Service Commission (PSC) shows that Mashonaland Central has the highest percentage of fully vaccinated public sector workers followed by Manicaland and Masvingo. Full vaccination entails getting two jabs of the vaccines which have been authorised for use in Zimbabwe. To date, 99,68 percent of Government workers stationed in Harare have been fully immunised, while 99,95 percent of those in Bulawayo have received their Covid-19 jabs.
According to the official PSC schedule, in Mashonaland West (99,86 percent), Mashonaland East (99,94 percent), Mashonaland Central (99.96 percent), Manicaland (99,95 percent), Midlands (99,57 percent), Masvingo (99,95), Matabeleland North (99,72 percent) and Matabeleland South (99.72 percent) of all public sector workers have been fully vaccinated.
Zimbabwe has a 300 000-strong civil service staff complement.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima said vaccine uptake within the public service was testament to the efficacy of Government’s no work, no pay policy. He said Government stands by its decision to withhold unvaccinated workers’ remuneration.
Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions secretary-general Mr David Dzatsunga said the vaccination of civil servants has helped improve workplace productivity.
“Vaccination of civil servants is important because it makes the work environment safe,” he said.