President Emmerson Mnangagwa has commended his deputy, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga for volunteering to be the first to take a jab of the Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine, Sinopharm saying he showed Zimbabwe that the vaccine is safe.
Chiwenga who doubles as the minister of Health and Child Care was the first person to be vaccinated at Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital in Harare where the inaugural vaccination session took place.
Health caregivers were expected to take the shots next as they are listed among groups of people prioritised to be vaccinated.
Reacting to Chiwenga’s gesture, President Mnangagwa posted on Twitter expressing his gratitude. He Tweeted:
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 this virus.
Some Zimbabweans were afraid to take the vaccine saying lab tests have been inadequate therefore it could have major side effects.
Some even proposed that political elites be the first to receive the vaccine to boost confidence and to prove that the vaccine was safe.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s president and Health Minister, in that order, Cyril Ramaphosa and Zweli Mkhize Wednesday took the COVID-19 vaccine, a move that many also said was to assure the nation that the vaccine was safe.
There have been conspiracy theories that suggested that the vaccines were a weapon by “white people” to depopulate Africa.