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Covid 19: New vaccination programme begins in Zimbabwe

Covid 19: New vaccination programme begins in Zimbabwe
Children in school uniforms line up to get COVID-19 vaccinations at a school on the outskirts of the capital, Harare, Thursday, March, 24, 2022. Zimbabwe has launched a new CO   -  
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Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Children who are age 12 and above have now been added to the age group for taking covid 19 vaccination in Zimbabwe.

The new campaign is aimed at rescuing a drive faltering due to vaccine hesitancy and complacency.

The vaccination has been brought to the doors step of school children- schools in the southern African country has become the centres for vaccination which started this week.

Many parents say they support the initiative.

"Let them get vaccinated, it will save us a lot of trouble. Maybe it will stop the constant closures of schools … the online lessons drain us each time the schools are closed," said Helen Dube, a parent walking her 12-year-old daughter to a school in the crowded Chitungwiza town, about 30 kilometres (19 miles) southeast of the capital, Harare.

"Plus, if schools are safe then we are also safe at home," she said, referring to instances when schools have become centres of virus infection.

Zimbabwe school calendar

After two years of intermittent and sometimes prolonged school closure due to the hike in COVID-19 cases, Zimbabwe is gradually returning to its normal school calendar

Adults are also being targeted in the vaccination campaign which will run until mid-May, according to Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the country's health minister.

About 23% of Zimbabwe's 15 million people have received two jabs, mostly of the Chinese Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines. This is below the government's initial target of 60% by the end of 2021. With this new campaign, the country is aiming at a vaccination rate of 70% by the end of July.

Over 5,400 people in Zimbabwe have died from COVID-19, according to official figures as reported by the AFP. However, according to health experts, the figure may be higher because of undiagnosed or unreported cases.

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