BY CATHERINE MUCHIRI/ VARAIDZO MUDEWAIRI
THE Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) has urged the government to be transparent on COVID-19 vaccination, and called on authorities to collaborate with civil society organisations (CSOs) to encourage uptake of the vaccines.
“By working together with CSOs, the country will achieve equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine information as it is able to provide oversight on vaccine rollout,” Zimcodd said in a statement yesterday.
“Civil society will strengthen vaccine rollout through research and advocacy efforts to draw attention to the benefits of equitable access and to ensure accountability on issues such as policies, budgets and expenditures with the aim of making COVID-19 vaccines available to citizens and affordable.”
A total of 3 272 926 people have so far received the second dose, while 43 892 have received the third jabs.
Chief co-ordinator of the national COVID-19 response team Agnes Mahomva yesterday told NewsDay that the Health ministry was working with different CSOs to encourage vaccine uptake.
“The government has never worked alone as we always work with civic society through sub-committees led by a specific ministry, and so everything is well co-ordinated. Those structures ensure everybody including non-governmental organisations involved in disseminating information which would have been approved by the Ministry of Health and Child Care,” she said.
Mahomva said the government had expanded the COVID-19 ministerial response committee to include Provincial Affairs ministers to co-ordinate the vaccination drive.
Zimcodd also called on the government to bridge the information gap by increasing access to information on vaccine benefits, effectiveness against mutants and addressing public mistrust.