Govt targets to vaccinate 26k Vic Falls residents

By Judith Sibanda 

Government is targeting to vaccinate at least 26 000 Victoria Falls residents when the mass vaccination campaign is rolled out.

This will pave way for the full resumption of tourism activities in the resort town.

Since March last year, when the government announced its first lockdown to control the spread of Covid-19, tourism has been on its knees with room occupancies dropping to below ten percent hence a decision by the government to prioritize mass vaccination in Victoria Falls.

Matabeleland North chairperson of the Hotels Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) Anald Musonza who is also one of the leaders of the Covid-19 task force team told CITE that the vaccination roll out which began yesterday (Monday) will be targeting all adults who might have direct or indirect contact with tourists visiting the destination. 

“We are excited about this opportunity and we hope that it is going to go smoothly as we try to open up our destination,” Musonza said. 

“We are targeting about 24 000 to 26 000 residents including those in the peri-urban which is the adjoining communities to Victoria Falls.”

Musonza added, “We have reserved both the first jab and the last received after 28 days. These are both from the Sinopharm and everyone from the age of 18 years will be vaccinated excluding expecting and breastfeeding mothers and those with chronic illness as they will require to first go through the screening process.”

Chinotimba Clinic and Victoria district hospital, Health Bridge, Truck Stop clinic, ZRP Clinic and Beat AIDS clinic have been identified as vaccination points.

Musonza said mobile units will also target hotels, supermarkets and tour companies.

“We have been told that we should be receiving about 70 000 vaccines and so far with the first batch of vaccines we have received, the response is overwhelming because more and more of our residents are coming in to be vaccinated and this is positive because we want to be a safe destination and to have our businesses reopen after so long so this helps us as a community.”

Meanwhile, President Emmerson Mnangagwa will officially launch the second phase of the national Covid-19 vaccination program in Victoria Falls tomorrow. 

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