September 25, 2021

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Still A Long Way To Herd Immunity, Labode

By Branton Matondo

Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Health and Child Care, Chairperson, Ruth Labode has confirmed that vaccination is still at 10% of the total expected tally.

While engaging withe the media in the Midlands town of Kwekwe, Labode said its still early to talk of heard immunity since the vaccination program is way below half of the expected tally.

“Our vaccination programme is progressing very well but our last records show that we are hardly on 10% of the expected total tally. We haven’t reached even a quarter of head immunity. Another challenge is on the minister if finance. If he fails to source funds for vaccines, it will be a big problem. Most of the vaccines we have received so far are negligible. Out of 5 million doses, 500 000 were donations.”

Labode remarked that when a person is vaccinated does not necessarily mean that he or she is immune to covid, even those in the 10% group can still infect other people.

“The fact that you are vaccinated does not mean that you can not catch Covid 19, you will catch the virus but shall go through light morbidity. This means that you are less likely to die from Covid 19 let alone be admitted.

Vaccinated people can still pass covid to vaccinated people and non vaccinated people depending on how your body is prepared defensively,” she added.

Lockdown procedures have been used by Zimbabwe Health taskforce team to hamper the surge of covid 19 and it was only recent that President Mnangagwa extended the lockdown with two weeks.

Questioned on the effectiveness of lockdown extensions as way to achieve head immunity, Labode said that lockdown is successful if there is social support of the needy but applauded the presence of the EPI immunisation programme which has been very critical and pivotal in Zimbabwe’s vaccination endeavors.

“Lockdown is a WHO certified strategy and in Zimbabwe it is less successful because people have to survive, in actual fact it is the only way covid is spreading because they continue with their daily chores to survive”she said.

Zimbabwe is behind South Africa in the region in terms of high immunisation rates, the same system has been important in the dispatch of over 5 million doses across the country

The clarion call for head immunity was introduced by President Emerson Mnangagwa during the early stages of dose uptake.