Verdict: Yes. The government has since prioritised journalists for the Covid-19 vaccination during the ongoing first phase of the programme.
Briefing the media after a cabinet meeting Tuesday evening Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, revealed that journalists can now be vaccinated together with other frontline workers.
“Cabinet has approved the request by the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services to include journalists in phase one of the inoculation because journalism is listed as an essential service in SI 93 of 2020 and the media plays a crucial role in providing information that saves lives,” said Mutsvangwa.
The government through the Ministry of Health and Child Care had last week said the first phase was targeting those at the highest risk of being infected and listed health workers, village health workers, ports of entry personnel, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Immigration and security health workers.
Journalists were excluded from the list.
College and university lecturers and school teachers, the government said, would be covered under the second phase while the rest of the population at low risk would be catered for under the final phase.
Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 vaccination programme kicked-off on February 18 after the country received a donation of 200 000 Sinopharm doses from China.
The country has also purchased 600 000 jabs of the same vaccine from China and expected to arrive next month.
India has promised to give 75 000 doses and Russia 12 000 to Zimbabwe, which are also expected in the country soon.