August 4, 2021

In Zimbabwe, the impossible order to get vaccinated

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Health workers are disinfected in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, in February 2021.

They stand in line for hours and sometimes leave empty-handed: by putting pressure on those who lag behind to be vaccinated, Zimbabwe has managed to push thousands of people to health centers… in need of doses. Caregivers were recently given a two-week ultimatum to be vaccinated, otherwise they will not be covered in the event of contamination.

In markets, only vaccinated sellers will be allowed, as in tobacco and cotton sales rooms. The body that regulates the grain trade has announced that it will only buy from vaccinated farmers. But in front of the health centers, the lines get longer at 4 a.m. and sometimes nothing happens.

One million people vaccinated

Demand is very high, explains the spokesperson for the country’s main hospital, Parirenyatwa Central. “It makes us very happy and we vaccinate a thousand people a day, explains AFP Linos Dhire. We made an effort to manage the world, we no longer have huge queues, it’s a little more manageable. “

Miriam Tuwe, 29, says she had to wait five days and stand in line for hours before her first injection. Molline Makokove, 38, was vaccinated in April but is struggling to get a second dose. “At the time, there were very few people, it was settled in half an hour”. For the second injection, she was told that the doses were not available.

Read also Corruption flourishing around Covid-19 in a disaster-stricken Zimbabwe

Just over a million people have received a first dose in Zimbabwe, out of a population of nearly 15 million. From the start of the campaign in February, President Emmerson Mnangagwa warned that those who refused the vaccine would be denied certain public services.

Like the rest of Africa, Zimbabwe has entered a deadly third wave of coronavirus, officially registering more than 83,000 confirmed cases and 2,600 deaths. The country is a neighbor of South Africa, the country most affected on the continent by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The World with AFP