THE Ministry of Health and Child Care has encouraged citizens to take the cholera vaccine without fear, saying it’s safe.
The country launched its cholera vaccination programme in Kuwadzana yesterday, with the initial batch of 892 276 doses set to target 2.3 million people.
The Ministry said the vaccines will be used in all health facilities, schools, and other community vaccination points.
It said the vaccines are the same as those used during previous cholera outbreaks in 2018 and 2020.
The programme aims to prevent the further spread of the disease and create herd immunity.
Harare Metropolitan Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Charles Tavengwa, said the oral vaccines are a safe and effective tool that helps in reducing the risk of contracting cholera.
“It is the same vaccine we used in the previous cholera outbreaks in 2018 and 2020 in Chimanimani, Chipinge and Chegutu.
“Their effectiveness in the previous outbreaks should allay any fears and concerns that our people may have about this vaccine.
“Everyone above the age of one year is being targeted for vaccination.
“The house-to-house and cluster-to-cluster method will be used in the spirit of leaving no-one behind in the severely affected areas.
“Vaccines have already been prepositioned in all provinces, cities and districts of the country,” said Min Tavengwa.
World Health Organisation representative in Zimbabwe, Professor Jean-Marie Dangou, said the launch of the vaccine programmes marks a significant stride towards ending the disease, especially in areas where there is a dense population.
“People must embrace this opportunity and learn about hygiene practices and to always keep their communities safe.
“By vaccinating a significant population, we can create herd immunity, preventing the further spread of the disease,” said Dangou.