Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Senior Health Reporter
BULAWAYO provincial medical director (PMD) Dr Maphios Siamuchembu has appealed to parents and guardians to encourage their children aged 12 years and above to vaccinate against Covid-19
This follows Government’s approval for the vaccination of the younger age group, which Dr Siamuchembu believes will help Bulawayo achieve herd immunity soon.
The province is targeting to vaccinate at least 504 422 people with the first and second doses to achieve herd immunity.
So far almost 56 percent of the targeted population has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
In a letter addressed to all central hospitals and PMDs, Ministry of Health and Child Care permanent secretary Air Commodore (Rtd) Jasper Chimedza said all health institutions could roll out the vaccine to children aged 12 years and above.
“Based on the available scientific data provided by the manufacturers, the Medicine Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) has authorised the Emergency Use Authority (EUA) for the Covid-19 vaccination with Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines.
In light of the above, Government has approved with recommendation from the Specialist Paediatricians, the vaccination of the 12 to 15 years age groups with immediate effect,” he said.
Dr Chimedza said the programme will ride on the existing operational modalities on the vaccination of the 16 to 17 years age group which is in progress, with the usual parental consent.
Dr Siamuchembu said parents and guardians should be at the forefront of encouraging their children to be vaccinated.
His office is set to visit all high schools during the vaccination drive targeted at all learners so that Bulawayo may achieve herd immunity.
He said some 12-year-olds are in primary schools and they will also be targeted so that no one is left behind.
“The approval means we are now within reach of herd immunity as Bulawayo. Before it was impossible to reach herd immunity even if we were to vaccinate all eligible adults. We would only reach maybe 58 percent of the total population, which is short of herd immunity as we are looking forward to vaccinating at least 60 percent of the population to reach herd immunity,” said Dr Siamuchembu.
He said all high school pupils will be targeted in the ongoing vaccination programme.
Zimbabwe had by last Saturday recorded 235 803 Covid-19 cases, including 225 873 recoveries and 5 393 deaths. On the same day, 2 721 people received their first dose bringing the cumulative total to 4 353 646 while 1 940 people received their second dose bringing the second dose total to 3 387 899. A total of 1 882 received their third dose bringing the cumulative total to 119 003. – @thamamoe
Article Source: The Chronicle