Herd immunity does it in Vic Falls

Source: Herd immunity does it in Vic Falls | The Herald

Herd immunity does it in Vic Falls

Leonard Ncube

Victoria Falls Reporter

THE effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines is manifesting in Victoria Falls where new cases have remained low compared to other areas.

No vaccinated person has died so far in the resort town which has achieved herd immunity following a massive vaccination exercise launched by President Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe’s death toll has risen to 2 418 after 86 deaths on Thursday, and 78 872 cumulative cases since the first case was detected in March last year.

Matabeleland North cumulative cases have risen to 3 608 and 35 deaths.

There are 1 643 active cases in the province of which 460 are in Hwange town which has been experiencing a sharp rise in cases lately.

Victoria Falls, which rolled out mass vaccination in March has so far vaccinated 21 030 people and has 156 active cases.

There have been 21 deaths in Hwange district and all of them were people who were not vaccinated, according to District Medical Officer Dr Fungai Musinami-Mvura.

Health authorities have said a majority of new cases were recorded in people who were not vaccinated with only a few reported amongst people who were inoculated.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has therefore dedicated the bulk of the 15 000 doses received recently for Hwange District to Hwange urban so as to build a significant immunity system as in Victoria Falls.

The whole district had vaccinated 601 people as of Wednesday amid concerns about low uptake in Hwange urban.

Dr Musinami-Mvura said there is need for behaviour change among residents especially in Hwange where there have been complaints about partying and shebeens and deliberate disregard of health protocols.

“The general observation is that we have more cases and deaths in Hwange than in Victoria Falls.

“This is the reason why we have dedicated the bulk of the vaccines to Hwange urban, excluding even Hwange rural areas so that we deal with the new cases which are exponentially rising.

“From a health perspective, it appears the vaccines really work because we are recording less cases in Victoria Falls where a majority of people have been vaccinated. All people we have lost in the district were not vaccinated,” said Dr Musinami-Mvura.

She said the first and second waves had nine deaths while 12 have been reported during the third variant wave, and all of them are people who were not vaccinated.

Three of the 12 died yesterday in Hwange urban.

“We encourage people to get vaccinated because this is crucial in saving life.

“If you are vaccinated chances of getting severe infection and dying are very low, so the jab is the only sustainable method of prevention so far, coupled with strict adherence to set protocols such as masking up all the time, social distancing and avoiding gatherings among others,” said the DMO.