Let’s get the jab to return to normalcy — President

Source: Let’s get the jab to return to normalcy — President | Herald (Top Stories)

President Mnangagwa is welcomed by health personnel at Kwekwe General Hospital yesterday. — Pictures: Believe Nyakudjara

Fungi Kwaramba-Political Editor

ZIMBABWEANS should receive the Covid-19 vaccines as that is one of the best and safest measures to protect the nation from the deadly pandemic and enable return to normalcy, President Mnangagwa said as he received his second antidote.

In his address at Kwekwe General Hospital yesterday, the President said the ongoing nationwide vaccination programme launched in February, and which has seen more than 300 000 people getting the jab, is part of Government efforts to ensure Zimbabweans are safe and pursue Vision 2030 to become an upper middle-income economy.

“Vaccines are indeed a critical tool in the battle against Covid-19, and getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect oneself, others and our nation as a whole from the deadly pandemic. 

‘‘Furthermore, vaccines train our immune system to recognise the targeted virus and create antibodies to fight off the disease without one getting the disease itself. After vaccination, the body is therefore ready to fight the virus if it is later exposed to it, thereby preventing critical illness. The vaccine acts as a booster that strengthens the immune response.

“We continue to learn lessons from this unprecedented global pandemic. Every Zimbabwean is called upon to quickly adapt to the new normal and new realities, in order to ensure that we are able to achieve the milestones set out in the National Development Strategy-1 (NDS-1) as well as Vision 2030,” he said.

Zimbabwe is targeting to vaccinate at least 10 million people, to achieve herd immunity, and in this pursuit, the town of Victoria Falls has already met its target after the launch of the Second Phase of the vaccination programme last month.

“Allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate the people of the City of Victoria Falls, our premier tourism destination, for their prompt response to the Covid-9 Vaccination Programme rolled out in that city. You may recall that I received my first vaccine dose in the resort city on March 24, 2021.

“Today I am pleased to be receiving my second Covid-19 vaccine dose here in the City of Kwekwe. I therefore invite the communities of Midlands Province to go out in their large numbers and get vaccinated.”

The President added that the vaccination programme is also targeting border towns where many people pass through from other countries.

“In line with the Government’s decision to roll out the national Covid-19 vaccination programme to the country’s border towns, I also invite communities in those areas to go out in their numbers and receive their vaccine doses. Together, Zimbabwe will surely win and survive this pandemic. In the meantime, let us continue to stay safe, wearing our masks, maintaining social distancing and washing or sanitising our hands. Indeed, no one is safe until everyone is safe,” the President said.

The President was accompanied by his deputy Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Defence and War Veterans Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, State Security Minister Owen Ncube, Small to Medium Enterprises Minister Dr Stembiso Nyoni, Deputy Chief Secretary (Communications) Mr George Charamba and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Publicity Mr Nick Mangwana among other top Government officials.

Official opposition leader Mr Douglas Mwonzora along with other opposition leaders drawn from the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) also attended and received the vaccine doses.

The President saluted various stakeholders, who have been resilient in the fight against the pandemic, saying the uptake of the vaccines, which is now above 300 000, is encouraging.

“I would like to applaud the focused approach and resilience demonstrated by various stakeholders in waging this relentless war against Covid-19. The successes achieved to date with regards to the mitigation of the pandemic could not have been possible without the unity of purpose of all Zimbabweans and the unwavering commitment of our frontline workers and security services.”

Support from different countries such as China, Russia and India, as well as Government’s initiatives are bearing fruit.

“We should however, not become complacent. Global Covid-19 trends reveal that countries where populations have reluctantly adhered to preventative measures are experiencing subsequent surges of new infections. We cannot afford to let our guard down, more so as we approach the winter season.

“I commend the strong Covid-19 surveillance systems which enabled the Ministry of Health and Child Care to quickly detect the recent outbreaks in our schools. Fortunately, all cases are mild while affected learners and staff are isolated and quarantined. Government stands ready to deal with any reported cases of new infections in our schools and education institutions. Sufficient vaccines are available for the vaccination of teachers, who have been prioritised under the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme.”

President Mnangagwa appealed to institutions of learning and also the business sector to strictly adhere to laid down Covid-19 regulations, such as social distancing, washing hands, wearing facemasks, to ensure learning and business is not needlessly disrupted.

“Safety of all citizens is a top priority. Hence, routine processes and procedures remain in place to ensure the continued safety of all vaccines that have been authorised and approved for use in our country.

“Government through the Ministry of Health and Child Care will maintain timely, transparent and factual information with regards to the vaccination programme. It is pleasing that no adverse drug reactions have been recorded since the inception of the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme.

Covid-19 was first reported in December 2019 in China. The severe respiratory disease then spread across the globe forcing governments, including Zimbabwe, to enforce national lockdowns.

As a result of the pandemic, that has killed more than 1 500 people in the country, Zimbabweans and the world at large began to observe the World Health Organisation regulations to mitigate its effects.

Zimbabwe has entered the second line of defence to vaccinate above 60 percent of the population to achieve herd immunity.

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