Lawyers have demanded that the government tests the efficiency and or safety of the COVID-19 vaccine that was donated by China before administering it to the general populace without clinical trials, Newsday reports.
In a letter dated February 16 2021 written by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights’ lawyers from Mbidzo, Muchadehama, and Makoni Legal Practitioners the lawyers argued that clinical trials for SinoPharm should be done before inoculation and not during or after as suggested by a Ministry of Health official Dr. Robert Mudyirandima:
….It is, therefore, our client’s view that clinical trials precede the rolling out of the vaccination programme, the aim being to establish whether the vaccination drug undergoing trials is safe to administer and will not have adverse side effects.
Clinical trials cannot be conducted simultaneously with the actual vaccination of the population as the acting Health secretary appears to suggest.
If that happens, many lives would be put at risk as they may be victims of irreversible side effects. Reports from other countries where this vaccine has been tested appear to confirm the possibility of such side effects.
The government is yet to respond to the ZLHR but the vaccine has already been distributed to different provinces in preparation for deployment.