Zimbabwe continues recording drop in COVID-19 vaccine uptake

HARARE, ZIMBABWE - MARCH 29: A nurse prepares to vaccinate an elderly woman with the Sinopharm vaccine at a local hospital on March 29, 2021 in Harare, Zimbabwe. The country is now focusing its vaccination efforts on elderly people with chronic conditions, as well as those deemed essential workers like the police, army and prison employees. Last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa received a shot of Sinopharm's Covid-19 vaccine. (Photo by Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Getty Images)

The rate of uptake of COVID-19 vaccines among Zimbabweans dropped for a third consecutive week with a declining sense of urgency among the population cited as one of the major factors behind the reduction.

According to data from the Ministry of Health, 286,134 doses were administered between September 4-11, a drop from 289,892 doses administered the previous week. It is also significantly lower than the record 517,933 doses administered in the third week of August.

FILE PHOTO: A nurse prepares to vaccinate a woman at a local hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe. /Getty Images

With the country reporting a decline in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, several people have opted to postpone getting the jab to a later date, according to a report by the state-owned Herald newspaper.

This is happening despite the Zimbabwean government receiving an additional 1.5 million Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines taking the total number of vaccines it has received to more than 10 million.

Despite those trends, the government said it remained undeterred in its procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.

“We have no intention to go without vaccines. We are on course to achieve herd immunity. We have been strategic since day one. Treasury has continued mobilising resources. We are quite excited with what we have done and will not look back,” Agnes Mahomva, the chief coordinator of the national response to COVID-19, said.

As of September 12, a total of 2,845,148 people in Zimbabwe have been vaccinated against COVID-19., according to the Health ministry.