HARARE, 27 February 2021 – Nurses associations in Zimbabwe say their members are reluctant to receive COVID-19 vaccines received from China.
A full week after Zimbabwe’s vaccination campaign launched prioritizing healthcare workers, the uptake among nurses has been very low.
The president of the 12,000-member Zimbabwe Nurses Association, Enock Dongo, was cited in several news reports Saturday as saying his members are holding back from fear that the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine may not be effective against the South African strain of the virus.
The fact that South Africa called off vaccinations that did not have a high level of efficacy on the local strain is giving Zimbabwean nurses pause.
“As things stand, people are reluctant,” the French News Agency (AFP) cited Dongo as saying.
Developers of the Sinopharm vaccine have said it is 79 percent effective against coronavirus, although its efficacy against the South African strain remains a big question mark.
The hesitation is likely to grow as the South African strain becomes the most dominant variant in Zimbabwe.