Home International News Africa “Soon It Will Be No Vaccine, No Job” – Zimbabwe’s President Warns
Africa - Editor's Picks - February 27, 2021

“Soon It Will Be No Vaccine, No Job” – Zimbabwe’s President Warns

While many governments are undertaking ambitious campaigns to persuade people to get vaccinated against Covid, Zimbabwe’s president has gone a step further, threatening to punish those who do not take offered doses.

“You are not going to be forced to be vaccinated, but the time shall come when those who are not vaccinated won’t get jobs,” President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Wednesday.

Even something as simple as taking a local bus will be forbidden for those who aren’t vaccinated, he said.

The threats come even as the country of 15 million is struggling to secure doses for people who want to be immunized.

Zimbabwe received a donation of 200,000 doses from the Chinese vaccine maker Sinopharm, and a further 600,000 doses are expected to arrive in the country early March. Additionally, the country is set to receive more than 1.1 million doses as part of the Covax program, which is distributing vaccines to poor and middle-income countries in an effort to help address global inequities.

Zimbabwe’s frontline health workers are the first in line for vaccination, but as the campaign kicked off in recent days, some resisted the vaccine — voicing particular skepticism about the doses from China.

“I personally won’t accept to be vaccinated,” said Linet Sithole, a nurse in Harare, the Zimbabwean capital. “It is my choice.”

She said she was concerned about the dearth of information about the Chinese vaccine and potential side effects.

Mr. Mnangagwa, addressing supporters in Matabeleland Province, called such concerns unfounded and noted that after the nation’s vice president had the first jab, “he is still here.”

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