THE story of the study related to the uptake of Covid-19 vaccines in Zimbabwe showed how powerful social media and peer pressure can be in helping people make key decisions.
The study revealed that scepticism around the Covid-19 vaccines, pushed by people who just create rumours and circulate them verbally, or through social media, contributed largely to decisions made by individuals in the uptake of the doses among Zimbabweans.
Although Zimbabwe is currently ranked among the highest in Africa in terms of vaccinating its citizens, the situation could have been much better.
Misconceptions among the citizens have hindered many from getting the vaccinations, affecting the country’s vision of vaccinating about 60 percent of the population, by December 2021.
Yes, other reasons were cited as causes for lack of trust in the vaccines but they all come down to pressure imposed by social media.
Ironically, a lot of European countries depend on products that are manufactured by, or in China, and there is no reason to doubt Chinese vaccines or anything manufactured in that country.
In fact, China remains the world’s largest manufacturing power, as its manufacturing sector value ranked first globally for 11 consecutive years since 2010.
Among the country’s major achievements, China has been developing its domestic information and communication industry and built the world’s largest fibre-optic and mobile communications network to date.
Covid-19 was first detected in China and it was only natural that some of the best vaccines to curb the pandemic would come from there.
China is also “producing nearly all of the commonly-used vaccines for viral diseases such as influenza, measles, rabies (for humans), mumps, rotavirus, hepatitis A and B and for bacterial diseases, including typhoid, tetanus and diphtheria.”
Covid-19, just like most of the aforementioned diseases, is also a viral disease and there is no reason why China can fail to provide its vaccine.
Moreover, since 1987, vaccine quality for international procurement has been assured through the pre-qualification system that is managed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The “prequalified” stamp of approval means that these vaccines are consistently safe, effective and of high quality, and thus recommended for bulk purchase by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 152 low and middle-income countries, the GAVI Alliance – which funds vaccines in 73 of these countries.
The vaccines that are in use in the country met these standards and there was never a reason to doubt them.
Sadly, we have some people who believe more in fiction than reality and others who only want to spread falsehoods.