Apostolic sect members, who have previously objected to vaccination are now warming up to the ongoing measles vaccination blitz after the disease killed 700 people and affected more than 2 000 others, NewsDay has heard.
The disease was first recorded in Manicaland province on April 10, 2022 and has since spread across the country.
Apostolic sects topped the list of vaccine objectors and have been identified as the source of the measles outbreak.
Speaking to journalists during a media tour on outbreaks and immunisation in Mahusekwa, Mashonaland East on Wednesday, Marondera district medical officer, Delight Madoro said: “In our ongoing campaign on measles and Rubella, we have managed to vaccinate 25 984 out of a target of 30 376 which translates to a percentage of 86%. It has not been a smooth ride to achieve this due to vaccine hesitant groups in the communities.”
Measles vaccination started on August 29.
Marian Fadzi, the district nursing officer for Marondera district weighed in saying: “People are still coming for vaccination and most of them are from apostolic sects and they plead for protection of their privacy regarding uptake of vaccines. The response is very encouraging as they are coming and requesting for assistance, and we are giving them all the support they need.”
Chiota Rural District Hospital acting sister-in-charge Evelyn Zvomuya said they were targeting influential people in apostolic sects in their awareness campaigns.
“We identified one member from a church as part of our campaign teams to disseminate information and encourage people to get their children vaccinated,” she said.