There was a high turnout of people to receive their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as the second stage of the first phase of the vaccination campaign kicked off in Bulawayo on Monday.
The programme is targeting teachers, voluntary health care workers, those with chronic illnesses, citizens who are aged between 60 and 80 years.
Currently there are two vaccines available in Zimbabwe, Sinopharm and Sinovac both manufactured in China.
According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, as of March 28, 2021, a total of 68 511 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Apart from council clinics that have been hosting the vaccination programme, MASCA – a medical aid service provider, also hosted a vaccination team from the City of Bulawayo’s Health Services Department.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education also in a circular advised that Milton High School will be the vaccination point for teachers from Bulawayo Central while Maranatha Primary will host those from Imbizo District.
Mpopoma High School is the vaccination point for Mzilikazi District and Makeurtan Primary School for Reigate District.
In a notice, MASCA Chief Executive Officer, Douglas Bramsen, said the vaccination team would be stationed there until April 9.
“But we will not be working over the Easter period, that’s April 2 to April 5, 2021. Vaccinations will start from 9am each day,” he said.
Bramsen advised people in Bulawayo to make bookings to avoid congestion.
“We will give a day and approximate time for you to come. This will help in reducing the number of people queuing at any given time. You will be required to bring your identification document (National ID or passport) and a repeat prescription or tablet bottle if you are under 60 with a chronic condition,” Bramsen said.
Unfortunately, the vaccine is unable to be given to pregnant women or lactating mothers, the MASCA CEO noted.
“Any member who is suffering from cancer and has had treatment would need a doctor’s letter indicating that they are fit to have the vaccine,” Bramsen said.
“There are two vaccines available at the moment in the country. They have the same efficacy and were approved by the Medical Control Authority of Zimbabwe. These vaccines are Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines. Depending on availability, you will be vaccinated with either one. Once the first dose has been given, a vaccination card is given to you with a date indicating the due date for your second dose.”
Bramsen said as a private sector player, they were excited to assist the government and City of Bulawayo in fighting the Covid- 19 pandemic.
“The private sector initiatives, to assist the Government in this very important rollout plan,(must) continue so that more vaccines will be made available to make sure the country can achieve herd immunity as soon as possible,” he said.
“Please contact us so we can schedule you into this vaccination programme. For members staying out of Bulawayo, please contact the town or city health department you are in and they will assist with the nearest vaccination centre to you.”