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Medical professionals should take lead in vaccination programmes

BY VANESSA GONYE

THE MDC Alliance has called on government to ensure that medical professionals take the lead in making decisions during the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

In a statement yesterday, Simbiso Ranga, the MDC Alliance secretary for health and child welfare in the North American province, said government policies should be based on the advice of medical professionals and institutions.

“When Zimbabwean citizens decide on whether or not to get vaccinated, they rely principally on the advice of their healthcare providers as a critical element of their decision-making process, and they also look to family, friends, co-workers, spiritual and business leaders for validation of their decision,” he said.

“However, medical professionals remain key sources of credible information to all the aforementioned groups. It is, therefore, essential that these medical professionals not be placed in a difficult conflicted corner as to whether they should promote the vaccination campaign or not.”

Ranga said COVID-19 vaccine choices were being made without consulting the medical profession and lacked transparency and accountability.

“South Africa, most of Europe and America had issues with the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and they communicated their findings and courses of action clearly to their citizens. We expect a similar level of transparency and accountability to the population. It builds confidence in the vaccination programme. Vaccine hesitancy is fuelled by mystery and
opacity,” he said.

Currently, Zimbabwe is using China and India-manufactured COVID-19 vaccines in its inoculation programme.

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