City records low COVID-19 vaccine uptake

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Bulawayo City Council (BCC)

BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has bemoaned the low uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine third dose.

BCC senior health promotions officer Sitshengisiwe Siziba revealed this yesterday during a COVID-19 update meeting with government institutions and other stakeholders.

Siziba said the city targeted to vaccinate around 569 010 people in order to achieve herd immunity.

“So far for the first dose we have vaccinated 48 007 people and our coverage is 61,2% which is still quite low because we have been stagnant for quite a long time. For the second dose, we are at 47,1% and for the third dose, which is our booster shot, we are at 6,1%,” Siziba said.

Bulawayo is targeting to vaccinate 268 982 people who are 12 years old and above with the first dose.

“The percentages are very low, and we need to market the vaccines in order to reach 70% of the population that is fully vaccinated. For the 12 -15-year-olds, our target was 64 588, but we managed to vaccinate 34 902 people, which is 54% coverage.

That is quite low because we were expecting to get to around 70%.

“For the 16 to 17-year-olds, our target was 28 225, but we only managed to vaccinate about 4 318, which constitutes 15%.  For the 18-year-olds and above, our target was 176 169, but we only managed to vaccinate 5 848 which is only 3%,” Siziba further noted.

Of major concern was that most patients who were being admitted for COVID-19 at the city’s hospitals were not vaccinated.

Siziba warned against complacency, saying COVID-19 was still there and people should continue wearing masks and practising social distancing.

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