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COVID-19 can be defeated

THE launch of the vaccination programme on February 18 at Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital is a significant milestone in the battle, not only to contain, but also to eventually rid the country of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

It is a huge battle on two fronts.

On one hand, the virus itself is stubborn and is showing no signs of disappearing any time soon.

On the other, are naysayers who are never happy to see Zimbabweans enjoying quality life.

These are the sadists who will be happy to see as many Zimbabweans die of the virus for political expediency.

Though shocking, this should not be surprising at all.

Remember the Tendai Biti delegation that flew to the US to urge the Americans not to lift sanctions on their own people.

To begin with, social media conspiracy theories discouraged, in general, vaccination against the deadly COVID-19 virus.

However, when there was talk of Zimbabwe getting vaccine doses from China, things took a different turn.

Social media became more vigorous in dissuading Zimbabweans from getting inoculated with the Chinese vaccine.

A familiar line thrown around was that things made in China were unreliable and yet, shops in London and New York are packed with products made in China.

The more extreme claims included theories that recipients of the doses would have DNA mutations.

Opposition to the vaccine peaked when it was learned that China would give Zimbabwe 200 000 (now increased to 400 000) of the Sinopharm doses for free.

Zimbabwe then buys the other 600 000.

But why this hostility?

Is it as a result of genuine concern for the health of Zimbabweans?

No, not at all!

It is a political battle and not a medical one in any way.

The West has never brooked ‘interference’, especially by China, in countries it considers to be under its sphere of influence.

This includes all its former colonies.

If the West is seen to be lagging behind in the race to save human lives through delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, this becomes a diplomatic blow.

It is especially worse for Zimbabwe, a country that used the Chinese AK rifle to dismantle Western machinations in that country.

Indeed, the West can’t stomach the idea of a country they want to see collapse through sanctions getting such generous donations from China, of all countries.

Meanwhile, the West has its own surrogates who include Zimbabweans, readily available to discredit the vaccine through the press and social media.

What happens to Zimbabweans if they fail to be vaccinated is none of their business.

And yet Zimbabweans are not the only country using the ‘despised’ Chinese Sinopharm vaccine.

Egypt, Equitorial Guinea, Senegal, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates are among some of the countries also using this vaccine.

Mind you, Sinopharm is not the only type of vaccine from China.

Algeria, Turkey, Ukraine and Indonesia are among some countries that have approved other varieties of Chinese anti-COVID-19 vaccines.

Why not!

After all Chinese vaccines are cheaper, safer and have less stringent conditions for storage.

The Government has shown concern for its people by offering Sinopharm jabs for free.

No doubt, other varieties shall soon flood the country, but will definitely be more expensive. The possibility of fake vaccines then will never be ruled out.

Suffice to note that vaccines are not a cure, but only help to boost the immune system when attacked.

This, together with proper wearing of masks, keeping social/physical distance and sanitising our hands frequently will go a long way in defeating the COVID-19 scourge.

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