Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care has said COVID-19 vaccination certificates will eventually become passports and those who would not have been vaccinated will be denied entry into some jurisdictions.
Chiwenga made the remarks during an interview with Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa at his offices in Harare recently. The former military boss said:
Remember the COVID-19 certificates, eventually they are going to become our passports.
If you watch the news globally, you will see that there are deliberations in all capitals on vaccination passports.
Chiwenga also urged members of the public to get vaccinated so that the country achieves herd or community immunity.
His remarks come after President Emmerson Mnangagwa had insinuated that those who refuse to take the vaccines risked losing out on employment opportunities and social services like transport.
Zimbabwe has since rolled out its second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme which covers teachers, the clergy and members of the security sector.
The first phase targeted frontline workers, mainly health caregivers and immigration officers.
Other jurisdictions have flagged some countries and regions as high risks, therefore, those who would have travelled to those countries are required to self-isolate while some states do not accept them at all.
Chiwenga’s remarks reiterate observations made by some analysts who believe many countries will start to demand vaccination certificates in addition to passports.
This sounds like a way of making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory since members of the public will have to choose between travelling and rejecting the vaccine.
There are some people who are afraid of taking the vaccine arguing that they do not know its side effects since experts were not given enough time to assess it.