BY PHYLLIS MBANJE
About 90% of Covid-19 deaths in Harare are among people who are not vaccinated, new data has revealed.
This, government says, is a demonstration of how effective the vaccines have been, adding impetus to the national vaccination drive.
In a report presented by the Covid-19 chief coordinator Agnes Mahomva titled, Admissions and Community Deaths by Vaccination Status, 88% of those who died from Covid-19 in Harare were unvaccinated.
In a sample of 207 deaths, it was established that 88% had not been vaccinated, 3,4% had received one dose while 4,8% had received both jabs. The status of the remaining 2,9% was unknown.
Mahomva said all provinces have continued to record a surge in cases and deaths since the end of June.
She also said unlike the previous two waves, the third wave was recording more infections in children.
“Over 90% of recorded Covid-19 hospital admissions are not vaccinated,” she said.
The report also noted that the mortality rate was higher than that of the first and second waves.
“Vaccination is contributing to protection of people from Covid-19 hospitalisation and deaths. It is saving lives,” Mahomva said.
She called for acceleration of the vaccination process as an additional preventive measure to complement other regulations already in place.
“We should procure more vaccines and strengthen static and outreach centres,” she said.
Mahomva also suggested engaging volunteers as well as expanding private sector involvement.
The vaccination drive picked up another notch last week with government ordering all civil servants to be vaccinated.
Cabinet declared that as all civil servants should now be vaccinated, those unvaccinated will no longer be entitled to Covid-19 insurance. As it cuts duty staff to 25% to decongest offices on two-week rotations, vaccinated staff will be given priority.
Meanwhile as the Covid-19 death toll continued to rise several companies have adopted “mandatory” vaccination measures for their employees.
TelOne ordered all unvaccinated staff to take leave with immediate effect.
It also withdrew Covid-19 allowances for those who have not received the jab and warned that it would not hesitate to take further measures against the unvaccinated employees.
Mandatory vaccination has divided opinions globally, but many countries are taking that route.
The United Kingdom government will make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for care home staff from October, and is considering whether to extend the policy to National Health Service staff.
Leading health body World Health Organisation has said that mandatory vaccination must be “necessary and proportionate” in the achievement of “important public-health goals”.