By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who doubles as Health Minister volunteered to become the first person to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in Zimbabwe by taking the jab publicly at Wilkins Hospital in Harare on Thursday to try an re-assure a skeptical public.
Chiwenga got the jab as the country started its vaccination programme after receiving a donation of 200 000 shots of the SinoPharm vaccine, thanks to the People’s Republic of China.
Speaking to the media at the event, Chiwenga said the rollout would be administered to the frontline workers first.
“Today marks the launch of the vaccination programme that is set to achieve the head immunity of at least 10 million Zimbabweans.
“The rollout programme will be administered to all frontline workers that are the health services Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, immigration officials and the health staff of the security services,” he said.
Agritex personnel and persons who are over 60 years together with other vulnerable groups will also be prioritised
Writing on his official Twitter handle, President Emmerson Mnangagwa hailed Chiwenga for setting an example.
“Zimbabwe`s first Covid-19 vaccination. Thank you to Vice President and Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga for showing Zimbabwe that this vaccine is safe for all our people. This is a historic moment in our country`s fight against the virus,” he said.
Political commentator Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya said it was appropriate for the Vice President to take the vaccine first before anyone else.
“Well, that’s proper for VP General Chiwenga as both VP and Minister of Health to publicly take the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine ahead of everyone else in order to assure the general public on that drug,” he said.
Meanwhile, the vaccination programme is targeting 10 million people in three phases to complete the exercise.
As of Thursday, Zimbabwe registered 35,423 coronavirus cases and 1,418 deaths. Nehanda Radio