The Government has authorised the administering of COVID-19 booster jabs (third vaccine doses) beginning with frontline workers.
Ministry of Health and Child Care permanent secretary Jasper Chimedza said frontline workers would be eligible to receive booster shots six months after receiving their second vaccine. In a statement dated 24 December, Chimedza:
The 3rd dose booster vaccination proceeds with the same vaccine type used for the 1st and 2nd doses for that individual.
For the avoidance of doubt, there shall be no mixing of different vaccine types, there be at least a six-month interval between the 2nd dose and the booster dose.
The booster dose is recorded on the same vaccination card as the 1st and 2nd doses.
Health experts have hailed the decision by the Government to administer booster jabs considering the emergence of the highly infectious Omicron coronavirus variant.
Mashonaland faculty chairperson of the College of Primary Healthcare Physicians of Zimbabwe and director of health services at the University of Zimbabwe, Enock Mayida said:
This is the fairest way to go as we are treading on the side of caution and also considering it has been six months after vaccination commenced.
It is a good way to make sure we boost the system at the same time taking precautions against adverse effects.
They also indicated that frontline workers are at risk of contracting the Omicron variant, so it becomes imperative that a booster shot be given.
Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association’s Johannes Marisa said:
The booster shot vaccination is very important considering that the protection of the vaccines wanes after 6 to 10 months and a booster shot will try to take us to the next level.
It is a step in the right direction because we want to make sure our immunity is protected.
Frontline workers are at high risk of the virus considering we get in contact with patients on a daily basis.
In its Coronavirus/ COVID-19 Situation Report for 27 December 2021, the Ministry of Health said 3 943 people received the third dose.
To date, 4 105 020 first jabs have been administered while 3 113 149 people have received two shots.