After enduring a long, meandering COVID-19 vaccination queue at Parirenyatwa Hospital, a major public hospital in Harare, capital of Zimbabwe, Rufaro Muchirahondo heaved a sigh of relief. The 47-year-old teacher complained about the sluggish vaccination process but said she was very happy that she had finally received her first jab of the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine.
“They are giving the first dose only. I think that they should decentralize the process to various other health centers like they did in the past,” she said on Tuesday.
“I work with children at a school where I teach. I think that it is important for me to get vaccinated. It is the right thing for me to be safe and to stop spreading the virus,” she added.
Muchirahondo said the Sinopharm vaccine was not any different from any other vaccines, adding that all members of her family have already been vaccinated with it and none so far have reported any complications.
Another woman, Annatoria Bwanya, said the vaccination process was easy and smooth for her as she was given preference as a senior citizen.
“It was just an ordinary injection and I’m feeling fine. I would encourage anyone, particularly older people, to get jabbed to contain contamination,” the 64-year coach said after getting her first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine at Pairirenyatwa Hospital.
“Personally, I think that the vaccine is effective. That is why you see all of us have come to get our second dose. It is good to be safe and as well it is becoming a requirement if you mingle a lot with people as we do,” said a team member, who cannot be named because he was not authorized to speak with the press.
Zimbabwe has used mostly Chinese vaccines – Sinovac and Sinopharm – to roll out its vaccination program. On June 26, the country received 500,000 doses of Sinopharm to add to the 1.2 million doses already bought from Sinovac, 400,000 Sinopharm vaccines donated by China and 60,000 combined doses of Covaxin and Sputnik V donated by India and Russia. So far, about 800,000 people in the country have been vaccinated against COVID-19.