By Anna Chibamu
GOVERNMENT has approved the Covid-19 vaccination of 16-17 years age group.
In a statement Monday, the ministry of Health and Child Care revealed that the war vaccination age range change was necessitated by recommendations made by specialist paediatricians.
“The ministry wishes to advise the public that vaccination of the 16- 17 years age group has been approved,” the ministry said.
“Based on the available scientific data in line with Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) guidance, the specialist paediatricians have recommended the vaccination of the 16-17 years age group with the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine,” read part of the statement which added that the protocol for the other young age groups was still under consideration,” it said.
Before this new development, only those 18 years and above were eligible for Covid-19 vaccination.
Meanwhile, the ministry has urged all provinces secondary schools, colleges and universities and vaccination centres to commence the vaccination campaign of this age group with immediate effect.
To date Zimbabwe has managed to vaccinate only 38% of its targeted population
Statistics from the ministry show that 132 926 Covid-19 cases have been recorded whilst 4 676 people have succumbed to the scourge as of October 31 2021.
Health and Child Care deputy minister John Mangwiro recently told journalists in Harare that government had started accelerating the implementation of the vaccination programme to reach heard immunity by end of the year.
Government however, noted with concern the decline in numbers of those seeking Covid-19 vaccines as shown by low turnouts at most vaccination centres countrywide.
Fears are high that the heard immunity might not be reached by year-end as had been targeted by authorities though the approval of the vaccination of the 16-17 years age group might push the figures high.