BY Dr JOHANNES MARISA
Today, we are sorrowful because of uncountable losses from the unseen creature that continues to threaten humanity.
The World Health Organisation has warned that Covid-19 will remain with us for some time considering the fulminant trend of the virus. This, therefore, calls for extraordinary measures that many people think are unpalatable.
In April 2020, the entire world was recording an average of
20 000 Covid-19 cases in a day, but today the figures have leaped to close to a million cases in a single day.
It is in 2021 that we clock close to 1 million cases in a single day. The virulence shown by the virus is on an upward trend in many countries in the world with India being hit left, right and centre. This, therefore, calls for all of us to guard against complacency, inconsiderateness, thoughtlessness, ignorance and conspiracies.
Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and improving quality of life through organised efforts of society, individuals or communities.
Public health measures should always be borne in mind when dealing with pandemics and it is not surprising that countries that exhibit liberalism, are some of the worst affected by Covid-19 in this world.
Human rights defenders have threatened litigation against important restrictions like lockdowns, social distancing, wearing of masks and even vaccination citing violation of human rights.
There were massive demonstrations in 2020 against many of these restrictions in countries like Italy, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. To add salt to injury, the demonstrators never bothered to put on masks despite them gathered in thousands, thus further aggravating an already precarious situation.
On December 14, 2020, Sandra Lindsay, a nurse and director of health services at Jewish Medical Centre, received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in the US. Since then, millions of doses have been rolled out in many countries.
Zimbabwe started vaccinating its front-liners in February 2021 using the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine with Sinovac being brought in during the second phase of the inoculation. Many people were sceptical of the Chinese vaccines with many senseless conspiracy theories and myths that threatened to torpedo the whole vaccination processes.
Prominent church leaders joined the train of the conspirators with volatile information that was detrimental to humanity. What resulted was a sluggish uptake of the vaccines in Zimbabwe, with many people initially snubbing the jabs. Numerous reasons were given for snubbing them and among them are the following:
n That China was up to destroying all Africans with unknown toxins in the so-called vaccines.
I am surprised that we are still alive up to now with very minimal side effects. It should be known that Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines are not only used in Africa, but also in countries like the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Brazil.
n That Chinese vaccines have low efficacy rates of as low as 50.7% while the messenger RNA vaccines were rated high with percentages as high as 95%.
I tried to figure out if it was not research bias. It seems the attack on the Chinese vaccines is still relentless with more negative impetus. Many of our people have started to panic which I think is not even necessary. Everyone knows that fading liberalism is contributing to global scuffles that pit the West against the East. Let us not get distracted by so many social media comments.
Pfizer has its vaccines too, but the storage can be very tough considering the very low temperatures that are required of -70 degrees Celsius. Many people have inundated us with calls about the use of Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
South Africa temporarily put Johnson and Johnson on hold following reports of blood clots in some of the recipients. We have heard about the high effectiveness rate of the Johnson and Johnson hoping there was no research bias. We pray that our people get the maximum benefits of the vaccines so that we get rid of the troublesome Covid-19.
Rejecting the Covid-19 vaccines will be at your own peril as I see. The country should target at least 60% of the entire eligible population to be vaccinated against the monstrous virus if herd immunity is to be achieved.
Vaccinating only a small fraction of the population may be a mere waste of resources and that is the reason why the rollout programmes should be embraced by many. Vaccination seems to be doing wonders in this world as the countries that intensified the vaccination processes are now recording very low deaths rates. As of April 20, Israel has vaccinated 61.9% of its entire population, the United Kingdom (48.5%), Chile (40.5%), USA (39.6%), and Bahrain (36%), while Brazil and India have inoculated 11.7% and 8% respectively. Those who have been following the incidence and mortality trends agree with me that all the countries with the highest vaccination rates are now recording very few deaths and new cases. Brazil and India are in trouble as their vaccine coverages are quite insignificant.
It is my plea that many people accept the vaccines so that our national coverage is large if we are to get maximum protection. People should know that we are not yet out of the Covid-19 quagmire as we remain under incessant threat of the third wave attack. Covid-19 is still with us, therefore, get some protection from the vaccines.