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Govt assessing COVID-19 booster shots

Govt assessing COVID-19 booster shots

The government says it is still assessing whether to give COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to people who were vaccinated early or to wait.

Booster shots have become topical around the world in light of new COVID-19 strains and waves.

However, the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care John Mangwiro said they are still assessing the issue, adding that any decision will be informed by science.

‘’As usual, we are a nation that follows science, and we will follow the science. 

‘’We are in the process of assessing people like him (Honourable Ndebele) who have been vaccinated much earlier to see the level of their antibodies, their humoral immunity to see how far it is with the vaccines that we gave out at the beginning of the year much earlier.

‘’So, after this, we will make an announcement to say we may give booster doses or not because we are still going through the data and looking at people who got their vaccines much earlier and see what is happening, then we will make an announcement early to say people can go for their booster doses, but we are still looking at the cases since we need to sit down as scientists.

‘’We have an organisation or an organ, the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe and our scientists. We need to look at this before we can make an announcement immediately,’’ he said.

Is there a budget provision for third jabs?

Norton legislator Temba Mliswa raised a supplementary question seeking to know whether the government has already procured the third jabs or whether there was a provision for it.

‘’The Honourable Deputy Minister educate us on the third jabs which is being said is a booster. How necessary is it and are we going to get to the third jab? Has the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development procured the third jab?

However, in his response Deputy Minister Mangwiro reiterated that the government will not rush but will be led by science in making the decision.

‘’I said about the third jab, in other countries or anywhere else, it is a scientifically reached conclusion that people go through forms of investigations and authentication and making sure we are going in the right direction and when to give these.

‘’So, what we are doing as a country, we are looking at those people who got their jabs much earlier to see how much of the antibodies that we provoked by giving the first jabs is still in their immunity.

‘’Their humoral immunity is something that we are still assessing to check whether we should give the third jab now or we can wait a bit.

‘’So, we are doing those studies and as a nation that follows science, once we are satisfied that this is the time, we go ahead and give it out. So, people must just be a bit patient while we go through the motion of making sure that we are giving the third jab vaccine at the correct time to the correct time gap and timelines,’’ he said.

Govt assessing COVID-19 booster shots

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