The Sunday News
Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
PEOPLE living with HIV, cancer, among other chronic diseases, will benefit from the Covid-19 vaccine which has been rolled out across the country as it will also boost their immune system and reduce vulnerability to other diseases.
Since the country announced that it will roll out a vaccination programme for Covid-19, there have been a number of myths bordering on discouraging people living with HIV, cancer and other chronic diseases from taking the Sinopharm vaccine which the country received from China.
However, Health and Child Care Deputy Minister, Dr John Mangwiro, last week said contrary to social media assertations that those living with HIV and cancer, among other chronic diseases, must not take the vaccine, in fact the vaccine was good for them.
Addressing parliamentarians, Dr Mangwiro said although Covid-19 vaccination will be voluntary, there was no need for people not to be vaccinated on the basis that they are living with HIV, cancer, diabetes and hypertension.
“People with cancer, HIV, diabetes mellitus and hypertension have weakened immunities. We have no policy to say that they are not going to be vaccinated. Actually, these people need the vaccine much more because they need to be protected. These are the people we are saying, those with underlying conditions and the elderly. We are targeting people who we know have weak immunities. The elderly have their weak immunity due to age, their marrow, reaction and production of antibodies is much slower now,” said Dr Mangwiro.
He said those living with underlying health conditions must get the vaccines so that they can fight Covid-19 better in case they are infected.
“So those people with those underlying conditions must get the vaccine so that they can fight the disease/virus better when they get it because their antibodies will have been enhanced from the vaccine. We cannot discriminate and it is not correct to say that they are not going to be vaccinated,” he said.
Dr Mangwiro said they did not expect much of side effects from the vaccine.
“Any medicine or drug for that matter if it is given to a human being, might have side effects, but from the studies that have been done so far by the people who produce the vaccine, there seems to be very minimal reaction. People might react. We are ready to manage the side effects and it is very possible that it will not be very severe, it is something that we can take control of,” he assured the country.
Meanwhile, the country is set to take delivery of another vaccine from India. Writing on his Twitter micro-blogging handle on Friday, President Mnangagwa said the country’s goal was to return life back to normalcy, something he said can only be achieved if 60 percent of the population is vaccinated.
“We are grateful to our Indian friends for committing to donate 75 000 Covid vaccines and for the opportunity to buy more moving forward. We are working tirelessly to obtain sufficient vaccines so we can overcome this virus and revive our economy,” the President [email protected]