Zimbabwe: 'Herd Immunity By December, a Far-Fetched Dream'

Harare (file photo).
1 December 2021

A local think-tank organization, Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) has dismissed the government's targeted COVID-19 herd immunity by December as a far-fetched dream considering the current rate vaccination uptake.

In its Access to Public Health Monitoring Report November 2021, ZDI said the attainment of Covid-19 herd immunity is a precarious situation given that the country is now less than a month away from the end of the year with only 3.73 million people having been vaccinated against a target of 10 million.

"As indicated above, the government of Zimbabwe took 7 months to vaccinate 38% of the targeted herd immunity population. It follows that the attainment of herd immunity now requires the government to vaccinate the remaining 68% in 2 months. It is apparent the government is faced with a huge mountain to climb considering the rate at which Covid-19 vaccination is moving with," said ZDI.

Recently, Media and Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said government was still determined to achieve herd immunity by end of December 2021 but ZDI said the reality on the ground suggests otherwise.

"The attainment of Covid-19 herd immunity in Zimbabwe is a dream that is farfetched. This is despite mandatory vaccination of civil servants that have so far managed to have 99% of public sector workers vaccinated against Covid-19," said ZDI.

The organisation urged government to develop a clear plan on how it is going to utilize the remaining time between now and the end of 2021 to vaccinate the population in order to reach herd immunity.

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