The City of Harare has allayed fears of shortages of Covid-19 vaccines at some of its clinics saying the vaccines are available although they are overwhelmed by the huge turnout of residents who want to get the jab.
Diana Nherera Suburban Reporter
City of Harare corporate communications manager, Mr Michael Chideme told Suburban that people were being attended to at council clinics.
Residents of Mabelreign were complaining of inadequate stocks of Covid-19 vaccines as people were being turned away at Mabelreign clinic after queuing for hours.
Vaccination against Covid-19 is now open to everyone with the Government hoping to procure more vaccines as the Sinopharm and Sinovac doses are now available under the African Union’s COVAX Facility. Government has also directed that health personnel from the security arms and defences forces will be deployed to vaccination centres to help the understaffed nurses. People have been thronging vaccination in their numbers but the process has been slow as council clinics are understaffed following an exodus of nurses in search of better salaries and working conditions.
On Wednesday this week, Zimbabwe received 25 000 doses of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine — Sputnik V — donated by diamond miner Alrosa Group. Speaking while receiving the vaccines, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro said people with suspected Covid-19 symptoms should seek early treatment to bolster their chances of survival.
President Mnangagwa received the first consignment of the first 25 000 doses and the latest batch will ensure those who received the shot will be fully vaccinated in the stipulated four weeks in accordance with manufacturer specifications.
The arrival of the Russian manufactured vaccines will see Zimbabwe becoming one of the few countries in the world to access the highly-rated doses.
Last Thursday, Government took delivery of two million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from China in a major boost for the national vaccination programme. More vaccines are expected at the end of this month while the AU facility will be a further boost for the vaccination programme.
This week, President Mnangagwa urged the nation to get vaccinated calling on all eligible adults to have a community responsibility to protect others.
Government has since directed Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament to lead the campaign to raise awareness in their constituencies about the need to be protected.
“Vaccines are available at the stated clinics. As we speak, people are being attended to. We are however overwhelmed by the huge public response,” said Mr Chideme.
He urged residents to be patient while they wait for their turn to be vaccinated.
“We urge patience and understanding that in vaccinating, there is need for social distancing and caution to stop spreading the virus,” said the city spokesperson.
Meanwhile, Mabelreign District Office was fumigated last week following the infection of one of council workers based there with Covid-19. The office has since reopened for business.
In a related matter, former Harare Mayor and Councillor for Ward 17 Mr Bernard Manyenyeni who was hospitalised after suspecting that he might have contracted Covid-19 at the weekend said he was discharged on Monday.
He told Suburban that his wife Fran is still receiving treatment.
On Saturday, Mr Manyenyeni posted on social media that he, his wife and maid had been hospitalised after contracting Covid-19.