Covid-19 vaccination targets 3-year-olds as Zim chases elusive herd immunity 

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent  

ZIMBABWE is struggling to attain Covid-19 herd immunity and is now targeting immunisation of infants as young as 3 years old in a bid to combat the spread of the deadly respiratory disease.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who doubles as health minister,  said the target age group had been lowered as the nation inches towards achieving 60% vaccinated population against the virus which still lurks.

The country’s statistics suggest the current herd immunity stands at 45%.

“I need to reiterate that Covid-19 is still here and remains a killer. Before end of July, as a country, we are therefore targeting children aged 3 years old and above for vaccination against Covid-19,” said Chiwenga.

He was addressing a gathering following a clean up exercise in Banket Friday.

“Those who have not yet been vaccinated, must go and get jabbed while those fully vaccinated, having gotten two doses, should get booster shots. Let us all protect our health, particularly those people with co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension and cancers.”

The Vice President also warned of the outbreak of monkeypox, which was recently detected in neighbouring South Africa.

He said just like Covid-19, transmission of monkeypox thrives on crowding, but was deadlier as it was also sexually transmitted particularly among homosexuals.

Monkeypox symptoms resemble those of AIDS, the Vice President added.

The ‘Alphelion Phenomenon’ when the Earth is furthest from the sun, Chiwenga further claimed, will spawn new Covid-19 cases due to the cold weather that it brings.

“It is now bad more than before. Let us remain vigilant because we do not want any Zimbabwean to die,” he said.