Zimbabwe’s health ambassador First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa yesterday received her Covid-19 jab and urged other women and girls to follow suit as she continues to lead from the front in finding solutions to the coronavirus.
Her vaccination confirmed that she practices what she preaches.
During a meeting with frontline health workers recently, she encouraged the nation to embrace the vaccination programme rolled out by the Government to ensure everyone survives, adding that if people were left behind, they would remain in the disease circle which would not help the efforts being displayed.
This comes as health experts have said they were targeting to vaccinate at least 10 million people to achieve herd immunity.
So devastating has been the effects of Covid-19 across the globe where it has killed thousands of people and left the world economy on its knees.
Zimbabwe has not been spared as over 1 500 people have succumbed to the pandemic, which was first detected in the country on March 20 last year.
Speaking after receiving her jab, the First Lady said she was happy that this had taken place in the month of March which was dear to her.
“The month of March is very important to me, particularly because I was born in March and today I have been given my vaccination in the month of March. March also has been recognised as an international month for women. I am saying to the nation, women and girls, get vaccinated,” she said.
“This allows us to be free to go to church, to go to our community clubs, to go to work and also our children will be free to go to school. So I am encouraging all women and girls to make sure that they come for vaccination. This is an opportunity to protect ourselves as a nation against the pandemic. I have been vaccinated and I feel nothing and it’s not even painful.”
The First Lady said even when one was vaccinated, it was necessary to be cautious and to continue observing Covid-19 protocols of masking up, washing hands with soap and running water and observing social distancing.
“Let’s not hug each other. Let’s not congregate at funerals and observe the stipulated numbers at church services. I am saying to women and girls, please come forward and be vaccinated. I am a woman like you and I have been vaccinated,” she said.
City of Harare Health Services director, Dr Prosper Chonzi, was full of praises for the First Lady.
“We are really excited that Amai has taken the lead and has demonstrated that she has confidence in the vaccine that we are giving. It’s a very safe vaccine, it’s a very efficacious vaccine and it can be given to anyone so with the First Lady leading like this, people must follow,” he said.
“We want to reach a target of 10 million vaccinations in our population so that we can create herd immunity. With this type of leadership shown by Amai today, I think we will go a long way. Most of the frontline workers particularly in the health department now are beginning to see that this vaccine is really safe.
“We have confidence in it and what we want is to encourage all the other people, all those with comorbidities, those that are vulnerable in our communities should now then follow in the second phase and we then vaccinate throughout.
“This should not only be done in Harare or in urban areas, we really want it to spread as far and wide as possible in this country so that come the cold season or our winter season or if the third wave comes we would have protected ourselves and we do not lose lives unnecessarily,” he said.