622 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 10th of December 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 161 998 after 6 181 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare with 1 753 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 9 December 2021, 256 hospitalised cases: 38 New Admissions, 14 Asymptomatic cases, 225 mild-to-moderate cases, 16 severe cases and 1 cases in Intensive Care Units. A total of 13 096 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 937 204. A total of 14 661 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 961 018. Active cases went up to 27 829. The total number of recoveries went up to 129 442 increasing by 206 recoveries. The recovery rate dropped to 80% from 86%. The death toll went up to 4 729 after 6 new deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Herd Immunity Target Missed
We place focus on the National Vaccine target to vaccinate 60% of the population (10 million people) to meet herd immunity by December 2021. We highlight that as we are in December only 25.6% persons have been vaccinated thus far. We highlight several issues that we believe to have hampered the vaccination drive namely, delays in providing accurate information which created space for vaccine misinformation and disinformation, science denialism, anti-vaccine sentiments, limited access and limited choice in types of vaccines, low level of reporting of vaccine after effects and the delayed expansion of vaccine centres.
We remain concerned at the low pace of expansion of vaccination centres. This remains a central issue in the low numbers of access to vaccines. We note that the expansion of vaccinations to persons over 16 and under 18 years is in a bid to expand the vaccine pool and this was finally expanded in November 2021 to include schools and learning centres being vaccine centres. Furthermore, we highlight continued gaps in access to vaccination sites.
- We continue to call for expansion to vaccinations site to include market places and transport hubs/inter-changes.
- We reiterate our calls for expansion of vaccination centres to agro-dealers and agro centres and collection depots.
- We continue to call for expansion of vaccination centres to shopping centres/malls, townships, growth points and new and developing housing areas.
Harare Province Infections and Vaccinations
We note with concern the four consecutive days with Harare province registering the highest number of new infections of COVID-19 cases. We are further concerned when consideration is given to the low vaccination rate at 38.9% 1st doses of the vaccine in the province which is not progressive in stemming the spread of infections. We continue to decry the limited access to vaccination in the Metropolitan province which appears to be in direct contrast with the Bulawayo Metropolitan province which is currently at 56.6% 1st dose vaccination.
- We therefore call for a concrete plan of action to expand vaccination in Harare Province urgently.
- We call for specific provision of vaccination centres in residential areas/housing areas under development in order to ensure that under-serviced communities are not shut out of vaccination points.
- We reiterate our calls for the expansion of vaccination centres to shopping centres/malls and markets in the in the province
- We recommend that vaccination centres be established at major transport inter-changes in and around the city.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe