Zim assessing the feasibility of administering booster shots

Zimbabwe has begun assessing the feasibility of administering Covid-19 vaccine booster shots, Health and Child Care Deputy Minister, Dr John Mangwiro, told Parliament Wednesday.

This comes at a time when the country has procured enough vaccines to inoculate 10 million citizens targeting herd immunity by year-end.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, a Covid-19 booster shot, also known as the third dose, is an additional dose of a vaccine given after the protection provided by the original shot(s) has begun to decrease over time.

While some countries across the globe were struggling to vaccinate their populations against the Covid-19 pandemic, others such as Israel in September were already giving booster shots to all adults and children aged 12 or over, while Russia, Chile, the United Arab Emirates and South Korea were among the countries that had also approved mass boosters for most or all of the population.

Britain, Germany and others had also announced boosters for those considered more vulnerable from Covid-19, such as older people and health workers.

Speaking during a question and answer session in the august House yesterday, Mangwiro said they were following science in their assessments.

“As usual, we are a nation that follows science and we will follow science,” said Mangwiro.

He said they were in the process of assessing people who were vaccinated much earlier to see the level of their antibodies and their humoral immunity to establish the effects of the vaccines administered at the beginning of the year.

“So after this, we will make an announcement to say we may give booster doses or not because we are still going through the data and looking at people who got their vaccines much earlier and see what is happening, then we will make an announcement early to say people can go for their booster doses, but we are still looking at the cases since we need to sit down as scientists,” explained Mangwiro.

“We have an organisation or an organ, the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe and our scientists. We need to look at this before we can make an announcement immediately.”

He urged citizens to remain patient while the process unfolds.

“So people must just be a bit patient while we go through the motions of making sure that we are giving the third jab vaccine at the correct time to the correct time gap and timelines,” he said.

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