Zimbabwean information minister says no forced vaccination for pupils

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A student gets her temperature taken before entering the school premises two days after the resumption of schools on September 30, 2020 in Harare, Zimbabwe,Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Getty Images
A student gets her temperature taken before entering the school premises two days after the resumption of schools on September 30, 2020 in Harare, Zimbabwe, Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Getty Images

The Zimbabwean government will not force students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, after its announcement that those aged between 14 and 17 are now eligible for vaccination.

Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told the Senate on Thursday that reports on social media alleging mandatory vaccination for pupils before they can resume classes next week are false.

“With the advent of social media, there is a lot of fake news. That is why we have cabinet briefings timely for people to validate. There is no government policy to have children vaccinated before going to school,” the minister said.

She said the decision to have children vaccinated was taken after a careful scientific study.

Mutsvangwa announced Wednesday that the COVID-19 vaccination is now open for 14 to 17 year age groups.

Until now, the vaccination program has been open to people aged 18 years and above.

The minister said schools that were scheduled to re-open on June 28 for the second term but remained closed due to the current lockdown, will now re-open on August 30 for examination classes and September 6 for non-examination classes.

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