Frontline workers sceptical about COVID-19 vaccine

Source: Frontline workers sceptical about COVID-19 vaccine | Newsday (News)

BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA

The majority of COVID-19 frontline workers in Chivhu are said to be hesitant to take up the Sinopharm vaccine, with only five getting inoculated on the first day  of the inoculation programme on Monday.

Statistics gathered by NewsDay showed that only 196 frontline workers in all the nine districts in Mashonaland East province were vaccinated as of Monday, with Chivhu having the least number of frontline workers, all nurses, getting vaccinated.

Chivhu has 586 frontline workers, but the majority of them refused to get vaccinated.

Frontline workers received their jabs on Monday at several health centres throughout   the country.

In Mashonaland East province, Mudzi district had the highest turnout with 54 health workers getting inoculated.

But information gathered showed that nurses throughout the country were  sceptical about the vaccine.

Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enock Dongo said the association would not decide for its members.

He said they had to exercise their rights and make their own decisions on whether to take the vaccine or not. “We are yet to gather statistics to ascertain the turnout of nurses for vaccination throughout the country,” Dongo said

Chairperson of the Chikomba district COVID-19 taskforce Michael Mariga declined to comment, saying he was not on duty.

But an official of the taskforce who spoke on condition of anonymity said the health workers were reluctant to take the vaccine despite encouragement from the ministry.

The district has two vaccination centres at Sadza District Hospital and Chivhu General Hospital.

“The health workers are lacking information about the vaccine, hence the reluctance which resulted in only five out of about 600 frontline workers getting vaccinated. Some indicated that they had underlining conditions just to evade vaccination,” the official said.

“There is still a need for massive awareness campaigns to encourage voluntary inoculation.  If health workers continue to be hesitant, then the members of the public will also be reluctant to take the vaccine.”

Health deputy minister John Mangwiro said he was out of office and was yet to receive the statistics with regards to the number of health workers vaccinated countrywide.

  • Follow Miriam on Twitter @FloMangwaya

 

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