The discovery of a vaccine against the ever-ravaging coronavirus has been a relief to some who miss the outside and those outside front lining on a daily basis.
People saw a ray of hope as the virus seems not to be going away any time soon. Be that as it may the vaccine rollout has been to a slow start especially in poor and third world countries.
The most success stories were heard from countries such as Israel, United Arab Emirate and Bahrain. Probably this is due to small populations but it is for sure structural health systems that have helped in leaps to get people vaccinated.
In Zimbabwe, the government is sourcing for donations and have since promised that the country has saved finances to buy the vaccine.
Recently the president revealed that China has been generous and donated 200 000 doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine.
In his address the president said the initial target is 60 percent of the population and frontline workers, those with underlying conditions and the elderly will be prioritized in the first phases.
Yes, that is what all competent leaders in the world have been doing with regards to priority and bigger question that everyone has been asking is what is really our national strategic plan on the vaccine rollout and is it safe?
Entities such as ZimRights filed urgent chamber applications at the High court compelling the government to present its budget and solid plan on Covid-19 vaccinations.
The government of Zimbabwe must act timely and expeditiously in coming up with a transparent plan in the interest of its citizens.
Our leaders must learn from other countries and come up with innovative ways to create an accessible universal, decentralized health care system which will allow a smooth flow of vaccination.
Digital systems are critical to a successful roll out with the use of apps and hotlines to secure appointments for the vaccine.
This is all on a structural level. The biggest stumbling block that Minister Chiwenga and his ministry will face is population attitude towards the vaccine.
This is a problem that the government is yet to see and has not even made attempts to address that at an early stage.
This has gravely affected other countries such as France who only managed to vaccinate 516 people in the first week of its rollout while other countries such the UK vaccinated more than 130 00 in its first week.
Misinformation and fear will be a major derailing factor in administering the vaccine.
The government through its relevant ministries must at this point be working flat out to address misconceptions against getting vaccinated.
Community leaders, religious leaders and heavy resource mobilization towards reassuring the citizens that the vaccine is safe will help in flattening out the lack of trust.
Downplaying this will prove fatal, regarding that already religious leaders such Emmanuel Makandiwa dismissed vaccination and other conspiracy theories in that Oppah Muchinguri audio have already spread a diverting message amongst the citizens.
The time to act is now. We will be surprised by how much cultural beliefs, religious beliefs and political affiliations will affect the national strategy.