Victoria Falls Reporter
PEOPLE in Matabeleland North have embraced the vaccination programme as long queues were observed when the province rolled out the inoculation process yesterday morning.
Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director Dr Munekai Padingani who was moving around districts yesterday to monitor the process, said the province received 50 000 first line doses of Sinovac and 15 000 of Sinopharm.
The number of people who had been inoculated on the first day had not been provided by end of the day.
“All districts have started vaccinating and we expect people to come in large numbers. We haven’t compiled statistics as yet but I visited Victoria Falls where I noticed a long queue at the hospital and now I am on my way to Hwange to check,” said Dr Padingani.
A news crew visited Victoria Falls Hospital in the morning where there was a long queue of more than 200 people waiting to be vaccinated.
The hospital is the only centre where vaccination is being done in the resort city after health authorities dedicated a majority of the jabs to Hwange urban.
This comes as Victoria Falls residents positively responded to the vaccination call which was rolled out in the city in March when President Mnangagwa also got his first jab. The city has achieved herd immunity as the majority of residents have been vaccinated and this has contributed to the low number of new cases being recorded in the city compared to Hwange town.
A majority of people that rushed to Victoria Falls Hospital yesterday morning is of those that were reluctant to be vaccinated because of misinformation peddled through social media platforms.
Hwange District Medical Officer Dr Fungai Mvura said health institutions had prior to the ongoing exercise been inundated by inquiries from residents who wanted to be vaccinated despite having dismissed the programme earlier.
She said the district received around 14 000 doses but needs about 30 000 doses to cover all eligible people.
“We have allocated the bulk of the doses for the district to Hwange urban and we had to bring a few to Victoria Falls to cater for those who did not vaccinate last time. We need about 30 000 doses to cover the whole district because our target eligible population is around 60 000 people.
“Since we managed to vaccinate over 30 000 last time, it means we need about 30 000 doses for the first jab making it 60 000 doses in total,” she said.
Dr Musinami-Mvura said the programme is targeting those between 18 and 80 years excluding lactating and pregnant women while those with chronic illnesses should consult health experts before being vaccinated.
In Hwange, Colliery Hospital, Empumalanga Clinic, Lukosi Hospital, Chibondo Clinic and ZRP Hwange Clinic have been designated as vaccination centres and there were long queues yesterday.
In Binga, 17 clinics dotted around the district are vaccination centres including Binga District Hospital and ZRP Clinic. Various points have also been established in other districts.