Concerns over low vaccine uptake

A medical attendant prepares to vaccinate health workers with Chinese-made Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Lahore on February 3, 2021. - Pakistan will begin administering a Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccine to frontline health workers on February 3, but the country is still months away from a mass roll-out. (Photo by Arif ALI / AFP)


THE Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) has expressed concern over the low uptake of COVID-19 vaccines and urged government to diffuse perceptions that are leading to low uptake of jabs.

In a statement, Zimcodd said while Zimbabwe’s plans to procure one million COVID-19 doses monthly were commendable, the country should sort out the issue of limited storage capacity.

“From the US$100 million set aside by the government for vaccines, Zimbabwe has so far spent US$12 million in acquiring the 1,2 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine at a cost of US$10 per dose,” Zimcodd said.

“The 2021 Lancet Globe Health study suggested that many African countries that were unable to attain optimal vaccine uptake would continue to experience waves of infections after the disease has been controlled in high-income countries.

“This will result in additional morbidity and mortality as well as the inevitable COVID-19-induced economic and social crisis.  Some of the major issues driving the low acceptance rate include confusing information and anti-vaccine campaign warnings to Africans, negative perceptions of the pharmaceutical industry and general concerns around the reliability and/or source of the vaccines,” Zimcodd said. It urged government to be transparent and accountable in COVID-19 procurement, loan agreements and pledges earmarked to combat the pandemic.

“Regular feedback and reporting from government around acquired vaccines and expended resources is crucial to increase public confidence and support for ongoing vaccine processes,” Zimcodd said.

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