GWERU Mayor Josiah Makombe recently rallied residents of Gweru to vaccinate against the Corona virus so that life goes back to normal.
Speaking during a Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) high level stakeholders meeting on Covid-19 vaccination roll out, the mayor also demystified assertions that the vaccines were not safe as he has taken both jabs.
Makombe said his drive has seen 90 percent of the 18 councilors in the city vaccinated and 70 percent of management also vaccinated.
He said he has spoken with both the town clerk and human resources manager to conduct workshops aimed at conscientizing workers on the need to vaccinate.
“I took the bold decision of being vaccinated and also encouraged all councilors and senior management to be vaccinated with me. I completed my vaccination with the second jab on May 4 and I am still around and healthy looking.
“We know a lot is being said about vaccination on social media but we were all vaccinated BCG which was also not from Zimbabwe but we were vaccinated. So, what is special about the Covid-19 vaccination which is being said has adverse effects on people’s health.
“This is not true and these people actually want people’s health to deteriorate,” he said.
The mayor called on stakeholders to find ways to encourage people to get vaccinated.
He said GCC had designated all health centres in the city vaccination centres so people are vaccinated enmasse.
“The wait should be over and everyone must be vaccinated. No one is safe until everyone is vaccinated,” he said.
Rumbidzai Dube, a representative of informal traders said it was vital to prioritise informal traders in the vaccination roll out.
“There is belief among vendors that vaccination is only for the so-called frontline workers,” she said.
She also added that information on Covid-19 was not adequate and full of myths.
“We fear the unknown as there are a lot of myths and misconceptions,” she said.
Dube said informal traders had bore the brunt of Covid-19 as there is increased domestic violence, child marriages and prostitution among their members due to hunger in households.
Emmanuel Chiduku, a senior nurse in the city said people wanted to vaccinate but there is inadequate information.
Chiduku said people were also not vaccinating due to fear of side effects, Western powers conspiracy, low vaccination confidence, vaccination cards shortages, victims of poor economy and overuse of the English language at the expense of indigenous languages.
He also said information on vaccination does not adequately cover the blind and those hard of hearing.
“Information is the tool of empowering against challenges. Vaccination can eradicate Covid-19 as it has been approved by medical experts. There is also need to decentralise vaccination centers to remote areas and even mining settlements,” Chiduku said.