JUST IN: Churches speak on Covid-19 vaccines

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Churches have hailed the Government’s efforts in taming the impact of Covid-19 following the arrival this week of the first batch of the vaccines from China, urging citizens to embrace the doses.

Led by the Roman Catholic Church, the Zion Christian Church and other denominations, churches took turns to implore the nation to get inoculated against the virus threatening populations and health services across the globe.

The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference secretary general, Father Frederick Chiromba, said the Government’s efforts to secure the vaccines are timely.

“The church recommends vaccines for all for a fairer and healthier world. Covid-19 vaccines must be made available and accessible to all. The church is at the service of healing the world.

“There is a lot being discussed about vaccination. In the final analysis it is better to be vaccinated than not against the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Father Chiromba.

The Zion Christian Church led by Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi said there should be due processes of ratifying the efficacy and suitability of the vaccine on Zimbabwean citizens.

In a statement yesterday, the church said it trusted the expertise of the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) and local scientists to ensure the nation gets the best and most suitable vaccine to control the pandemic.

“We welcome any efforts and measures to bring normalcy back to our nation and fully support the view that any death due to this virus is one death too many.

“We also welcome the Government position that, though essential, the vaccination will be voluntary and urge the Health Ministry to carry out a concerted education campaign to convince those who are hesitant about the safety benefits of getting vaccinated,” reads part of the ZCC statement.

“Notwithstanding the arrival of vaccines, we continue to urge all Zimbabweans to continue observing Covid-19 prevention protocols of wearing facemasks properly, washing hands thoroughly and social distancing.”

The secretary general of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) Rev Kenneth Mtata said vaccines bring hope if “the right people get prioritised for vaccination, especially our front line workers such as nurses and doctors.

“We have enough vaccines to drive herd immunity. We support the vaccine with revamping of the health system.”

Government is prioritising frontline workers, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions in its vaccination programme that received a major boost on Monday when a gift of 200 000 doses from China arrived

with 600 000 more that have been purchased on the way.

Reverend Jimaya Muduvuri said the President had done his part in getting the vaccine and those who have to be vaccinated should do so.

“We want to thank the President that the vaccine is here. It is the only logical thing to be vaccinated when the vaccine has arrived not to follow uninformed decisions discouraging vaccination,” said Muduvuri.

After receiving its first batch of the vaccines, Zimbabwe is set to get more doses from China, Russia, United Kingdom, India and others through purchase and donations, as part of efforts to achieve a 10 million herd immunity.

— Herald


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