Vaccine blitz gathers momentum

Source: Vaccine blitz gathers momentum | The Herald

Vaccine blitz gathers momentum
Mutare residents queue to receive Covid-19 jabs at Meikles Park on Wednesday. — Picture: Tinai Nyadzayo.

Herald Reporters

Citizens without identification documents are facing vaccination challenges and have implored the Government to address the issue.

While the blitz to ramp up Covid-19 vaccination has gathered momentum across the country with over 2 800 vendors getting vaccinated in the last two days, there are some citizens that have not been vaccinated because they don’t have identity documents.

Speaking to The Herald, some worried residents said they had either lost or were still waiting to get identification cards from the Registrar General’s Office.

“We are still waiting to get identification cards, but the offices are closed and we can’t access them anywhere. The pandemic is real and ravaging every part of the country including here in Chinhoyi where prominent people are succumbing to it. 

“We implore the Government to allow people without identification cards to get vaccinated,” said Thomas Chaipa from Chinhoyi.

A nurse who spoke on condition of anonymity at Chinhoyi Hall where hundreds of people continue to jostle for vaccination daily, said they were working on directives.

“We were told to vaccinate people with passports or other forms of national identity cards as their information has to be documented before vaccination. The process requires us to do so and there is no way at this stage we can assist them, until such a time we get a directive to help them,” said the nurse.

Mashonaland West acting provincial medical director, Dr Gift Masoja said they would be guided by the Health and Child Care Ministry on the way forward.

He said identity documents were a prerequisite.

Health and Child Care Ministry spokesperson, Mr Donald Mujiri, said he was unaware of any circular directing officials to only inoculate citizens with identification particulars.

Mashonaland West has been classified as a hotspot.

Meanwhile, Bulawayo’s Covid-19 mass vaccination programme is gaining momentum with over 2 800 vendors being vaccinated in two days out of a target of 15 000 within 10 days.

When the mass vaccination programme started on Tuesday, 1 203 vendors received jabs while on Wednesday the number went up to 1 623.

Health officials are confident of vaccinating 15 000 vendors within the set timelines. Bulawayo has been classified among Covid-19 hotspots as Government imposed a national level four lockdown. Acting Bulawayo provincial medical director Dr Welcome Mlilo said the mass vaccination programme has been moving without glitches.

Dr Mlilo said vaccination of vendors is part of Government’s segmentation of the roll out of the programme. 

He dispelled claims that some vendors being turned away.

“When we were vaccinating frontliners, we just wanted individuals to prove that they are frontliners. Frontliners are different, others are nurses while some are in the NGO sector,” he said. 

“We know that vendors who are registered with the council are just around 4 000, but because we are targeting all vendors that is why we are targeting 15 000 for the first dose. We know that the majority are not registered and we cater for them. We have always been confident that we would be able to meet our 15 000 target in 10 days because of our previous engagement with stakeholders. We know that people are now keen on getting the vaccine.”

A vendor, Ms Sithandazile Ncube from Thorngrove suburb, said it was important for vendors to embrace the vaccination programme to reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19.

Some vendors expressed concern that the queues were too long, and health officials were taking their time to attend to them.