VICTORIA FALLS could soon achieve Covid-19 herd immunity if the current inoculation drive in the resort city maintains momentum.
Herd immunity is described by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection. About 76 percent of the targeted population in Victoria Falls has since received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Government deliberately supplied the town with 60 000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine to cater for all residents as part of a deliberate plan to ensure a safe return to business.
Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director Dr Munekayi Padingani told The Sunday Mail that the town, whose economy is anchored on tourism, has administered the first dose to about three-quarters of the population.
“The vaccination programme in Victoria Falls is ongoing. Mass vaccination was 18 976 by yesterday (Thursday). Victoria Falls has an estimated eligible population of 25 000.” Dr Padingani said.
The figure represents 75,9 percent of the projected figure. Chief Coordinator of the national response to the Covid-19 Pandemic Dr Agnes Mahomva explained why Government wanted to achieve herd immunity in the tourist city.
“When we are talking about community immunity or herd immunity, we are looking at a situation where we limit the spread of the virus. If 10 people have been vaccinated, and one is yet to be vaccinated, it means chances of the virus being transmitted from one person to the next is very limited,” Dr Mahomva said.
She, however, cautioned against complacency and encouraged people to continue to get vaccinated.
“The idea is to ensure that people do not fall sick and the virus does not spread. If someone is vaccinated, it means their body can fight the virus and it dies without being spread to the next person,” she said.