BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
A Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA) survey has revealed that the majority of the country’s citizens, particularly those in outlying areas, are unwilling to take the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine.
The ZCA advocacy department carried out a survey to get insights into the attitudes, perceptions and reactions of the populace on the vaccine.
According to the government rollout plan, vaccination priority is being given to frontline workers such as health professionals and immigration agents working at borders under the first phase, with the second and largest stage targeting the generality of the population.
Zimbabwe received 200 000 vaccines, which were donated by the Chinese government to kick-start the vaccination rollout plan last month.
However, findings of a ZCA survey titled: “To Take or Not Take the Jab!” into the possible uptake of the vaccine by the general populace show that about 75% of those interviewed were unwilling to take the jab.
“Five-hundred and sixty-one participants took part in the survey,” reads part of the ZCA report.
“The findings from the survey indicated that 10.7% of the respondents were willing to be vaccinated, whilst 75.1% were unwilling to be vaccinated.
“About 14.2% of the total respondents were not sure if they were ready to be vaccinated.”
The survey was done using ZCA local structure WhatsApp groups made up of church leaders, women and youths across the 10 provinces in the country.
The survey areas/groups in which the survey questions were administered include Chegutu, Gwanda, Chinhoyi, Plumtree, Binga, Hwange, Lupane, Beitbridge, Chirumanzu, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Gweru, Nkayi, The National Hub (all provinces) and the secretariat group.
“A major finding that was captured during the survey is that a lot of people are ignorant about a plethora of issues around acquisition, administration and side effects about the vaccine,” ZCA.
“This is a cause for concern as the Covid-19 pandemic has had dire effects globally.”
In its recommendations, the ZCA called on the government to intensify awareness-raising initiatives on the Covid-19 vaccine, partner with other key stakeholders to augment government efforts in the fight against the coronavirus and ensure that Covid-19 resources are managed in a transparent and accountable manner.
With no cure in place currently, government and non-state focus has been on prevention and awareness.
On a global scale, governments have resolved that to circumvent the spread of the virus, massive vaccination rollouts have to be implemented.
As of Friday, only 36 283 out of the 100 000 frontline workers being targeted in the first phase of the vaccination programme had received their jabs.