Govt intensifies vaccination, targets herd immunity by year-end

The government has further intensified the vaccination of citizens against the Covid-19 pandemic targeting to reach the 60 percent herd immunity at a time when cumulative infections stand at over 100 000 including above 3, 000 deaths.

As of 2nd August 2021, a total of 1 674 710 people had received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 798 880 their second dose across the country.

“The nation is informed that the Ministry of Health and Child Care is expecting 2, 500, 000 doses of vaccine through direct purchase in August 2021, while a further 3, 500, 000 doses will be received during the month of September 2021 under the COVAX facility,” said Information Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa during a post-cabinet briefing Tuesday.

She said in order to accelerate the vaccination programme and achieve herd immunity by the end of 2021 Cabinet approved a number of strategies including extending the vaccination programme to private hospitals and private clinics to complement government efforts.

“The vaccines will remain free,” she explained.

“The institution may claim for the injection costs based on medical aid tariffs.”

The other strategies, Mutsvangwa said, include continued collaboration with the security sector to assist in the vaccine roll out, increasing outreach teams for hard-to-reach areas, from an average of two to four teams, increased provision of transport and fuel for the outreach teams, reviewing the payment model of allowances for the vaccinators to be based on the number of persons vaccinated among others.

“Health Services Board has written to the Treasury seeking concurrence to recruit retired nurses to participate in the vaccination programme,” she said.

“Cabinet is grateful to the private sector players who are partnering with the government in its quest to have the citizens vaccinated. SEED-CO has managed to vaccinate 98% of its employees and has extended the vaccine offer to the government.”

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