Churches told to play role in vaccine uptake

In this April 8, 2021, file photo, a woman at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, receives a dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and provided through the global COVAX initiative. COVAX is providing vaccines to countries lacking the clout to negotiate on their own for scarce supplies, but in the past two weeks only 2 million doses have been cleared for shipment to 92 countries. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga, File)

THE president of the Theological College of Zimbabwe, Ray Motsi, says churches in Zimbabwe have a role to play in advocating for increased uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine after the government recently expressed worry over the low turnout of people being inoculated in some provinces.

Speaking during a Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA)-organised virtual conference yesterday, Motsi dismissed conspiracy theories on the vaccination, amid claims that 75 percent of Christians were hesitant to take the jabs.

“There are many theological conspiracies that are being thrown around and one of these is that this is the end time and Jesus is coming and anybody who is vaccinated will be identified by triple six.

“This is unfounded, unbiblical and not related at all, it just remains a conspiracy.

“This particular vaccine is categorised just like any vaccine that the medical fraternity and medical experts have come up with in order to assist the general population to curb, control and slow down the spread of this disease,” Motsi said.

Motsi further said that it was immoral for Christians to link Covid-19 to the scriptures as there was no connection.

“This vaccine is not a spiritual thing, it’s basically a medical thing like any other vaccine,” he said, adding that there was also nothing wrong with the Chinese vaccine.

A number of people have been hesitant to get the jabs, fearing possible side effects, while some lack adequate information on the country’s national immunisation programme.

While other provinces across the country have recorded positive responses after both President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga took the lead, Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Larry Mavhima recently told a national Covid-19 taskforce that the vaccination rate in the region was worrying.

“I will be open and as candid as possible, I am not personally happy with the level of vaccination in Midlands Province and so is the central government.

“As of last Tuesday (April 13), we only had about 7 000 people vaccinated in the entire province … So, we have a lot of work to do.

“The real issue is that we did not do enough to inform our people on the vaccination programme. There are many who ask where do we get vaccinated, what is required? Anyone who wants to be vaccinated can get the doses,” Mavhima said.

Zimbabwe has so far vaccinated over 350 000 people since the inoculation programme began in February. – Daily News