Zimbabwe imposes COVID-19 vaccine on churchgoers

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An elderly woman is vaccinated at a local hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe on March 29, 2021. (Photo by Tafadzwa Ufumeli / Getty Images)

Zimbabwe’s parliament on Tuesday banned anyone not vaccinated against COVID-19 from attending church services, the latest in a series of measures to boost uptake of the coronavirus jab.

The southern African country had already made the vaccine mandatory for civil servants and teachers earlier this month.

FILE PHOTO: A woman is being vaccinated at a local hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe. /Getty Images

Getting vaccinated is also a prerequisite for trading in markets, working out at gyms, frequenting restaurants and sitting university exams.

“With regards to churches, Cabinet has resolved that only vaccinated congregants can attend,” a statement issued after the cabinet meeting said.

Zimbabwe’s under-supplied vaccine centers have struggled to keep up with growing demand fuelled by the jab-linked restrictions.

The country has so far relied on vaccine doses produced in China, India and Russia, but recently approved the emergency use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Just over 2.8 million of Zimbabwe’s 15 million inhabitants have so far received a first vaccine dose.

The country has recorded more than 126,300 coronavirus infections and at least 4,543 fatalities since the start of the pandemic.

Zimbabwe’s High Court earlier on Tuesday dismissed an application by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions to challenge the compulsory inoculation of workers.

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