Zimbabwe’s Health and Child Care Minister, Constantino Chiwenga has announced that Zimbabwe is ready for the second rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine adding that teachers and religious leaders will receive the vaccination soon.
The first rollout targeted frontline workers including healthcare workers, journalists, and members of the security sector.
Speaking at the Robert Gabriel International airport where Zimbabwe took delivery of the second batch of the Chinese-made Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, Chiwenga said schools were to be included in the second rollout.
He also stated that religious leaders were also to be included in the second COVID-19 vaccine rollout programme considering that they mix and mingle with many congregants.
The announcement about the vaccination of teachers and religious leaders comes as schools have reopened for examination classes while religious groups were given the green light to resume gatherings albeit with strict observation of COVID-19 regulations.
Some religious leaders and teachers have previously expressed scepticism on the vaccination programme as many feared it might not be safe for humans considering that health experts had not been given time for assessing its efficacy.
Meanwhile, government officials including Chiwenga have since taken the jab to allay the fears.
Zimbabwe aims to vaccinate as many people as possible to achieve herd or community immunity.
The government emphasises that vaccination if voluntary although the president recently warned that those who refuse to take the jab risk losing out on opportunities and some services.
So far Zimbabwe has received vaccines from China while countries like Russia, India, and the United Kingdom have pledged to donate their versions of the vaccines.