COVID19FactCheckZWNews

Fact Check: Claim that schools will open to administer Covid-19 vaccines is false

Claim: Schools will open to administer non-voluntary Covid-19 vaccine injections’

Verdict: False

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has dispelled as false, media reports claiming that schools will be opened on February 15, 2021, in order to administer non-voluntary Covid-19 vaccine injections on learners and teachers.

This comes as rhetoric on Covid-19 vaccines gains momentum in the country and across the globe with discussions focusing on whether the vaccine was safe, how it would be administered to recipients and which group of people will be first on the queue to receive it.

In a statement, the education ministry said schools would remain closed until an official announcement was made.

“The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education takes this opportunity to advise its valued learners, parents, guardians, teachers and other stakeholders that contrary to that fake social media report, the 2021 school calendar for all primary and secondary schools will be announced in due course, hence schools remain closed until an official announcement is made through the Ministry usual official methods of communication,” said the education ministry.

The ministry reinforced the wearing of face masks, physical distancing as well as handwashing to prevent the spread of Covid-19 on all school centres as preparations continue for the ‘safe’ opening of schools and accelerated implementation of teaching and learning activities.

“The ministry remains committed to the provision of quality relevant equitable inclusive and wholesome education for all Zimbabweans and any communication will be cascaded through the proper channels and structures,” qualified the education ministry.

In addition to the education ministry’s position, the country has not yet received delivery of Covid-19 vaccines while the Minister of Health and Child Care, Constantino Chiwenga, also Zimbabwe’s Vice President, once said the vaccines would be administered voluntarily.

Last Saturday, in his State of the Nation address, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the government was engaging countries that have developed Covid-19 vaccines but did not give timelines as to when they would arrive.

The president  did not clarify the arrangements or financing deal that would see the country receive delivery of the highly sought after vaccine, save to say that experts were assessing the different vaccines.

“Help and relief are on the way. Our experts who have been assessing different vaccines are very close to finalising the course to recommend to our nation. A course which brings in relief and which we will roll out across the length and breadth of our nation, so we do not lose more lives than has become inevitable. A course which makes sure the vaccines we reintroduce in our bodies are both safe and effective,” said President Mnangagwa.

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