Fear not the Chinese vaccines and return to normalcy

Derick Tsimba

Zimbabwe could soon go back to a normal business operating environment following Government efforts to allay unfounded fears of the available Chinese vaccines.

Having taken his first jab in Victoria Falls recently, President Emmerson Mnangagwa encouraged the whole nation to have confidence and get vaccinated with Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines to ensure the country gets back to normalcy.

The country has entered the second phase of the national vaccination programme following its launch by the President in Victoria Falls. During the launch of this phase, the people in resort town came out in their large numbers to get vaccinated which has been a positive development towards achieving herd immunity targeting a two-thirds of the population.

President Mnangagwa leading by example and getting vaccinated in public reassures the sceptics that have been peddling conspiracy theories meant to derail the process of vaccination. Much noise had been made on social media that the Chinese vaccines are not unsafe without any scientific proof.

The country like the rest of the world continues to struggle under the impact of COVID-19 which has negatively affected the economy with some businesses being forced to close as they could not remain afloat due to inactivity during lockdown period.

Although some members of the opposition such as Fadzai Mahere and Job Sikhala were on the forefront spreading messages that people should not get vaccinated, they have now shifted their positions and are now calling for the vaccination of all Zimbabweans and further blaming Government that it was slow in acting and should speed up the process.

Word circulating on social media has exposed the hypocrisy of some MDC-A top officials, who after urging people to avoid being vaccinated, managed to secretly get the jabs. Having been exposed for such a misdeed, are now coming out in the open claiming to have taken the second dose of the Sinopham vaccine and saying the vaccine was safe.

We all remember how the likes of Hopewell Chin’ono discredited government efforts to urge people to get vaccinated, mounted pressure on social media calling the vaccine as unsafe. Although these characters have quickly got vaccinated in fear of the much dreaded COVID-19 virus, they are the reason today why some people continue to develop cold feet over getting vaccinated.

Zimbabwe should unite as a country on its fight against the deadly pandemic. Everyone should get vaccinated regardless of political affiliation or religion because the disease is not selective.

Building confidence amongst Zimbabweans to get vaccinated are the religious leaders who have come out in full support for people to get vaccinated. Islamic religious leaders have urged their followers to get vaccinated. One of the Islamic leader and businessman Mr Moulana Mohammed Ismail has called for the Moslem community in Zimbabwe to get vaccinated and urged all Zimbabweans to do the same. Similarly members of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe have done the same.

Sinopham/Sinovac vaccines aim to protect people from COVID-19, the vaccine works through exposing weakened viral particles to the human’s body immune system without risking a serious disease response.

China biopharmaceutical company Sinovac in Beijing was behind the CoronaVac, an inactivated vaccine.

Speaking to BBC NEWS, according to Associate Prof Luo Dahai of the Nanyang Technological University, CoronaVac was a more traditional method of vaccine that was successfully used in many well-known vaccines like rabies.

BBC NEWS mentioned that in comparison the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines being developed in the West are mRNA vaccines. This means part of the coronavirus genetic code was injected into the body, triggering the body to begin making viral proteins, but not the whole virus, which was enough to train the immune system to attack.

mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine and there are currently no successful example of them being used in the population, the Prof Luo revealed.

After all is said and done, each individual should decide to get vaccinated or not, but that decision has an impact on one’s family, community and nation.