Vaccinations are contributing to the protection of people from COVID-19 hospitalisation and death with the country reporting that almost 90 percent of people who succumbed to the coronavirus in the past few weeks were unvaccinated.
In an update on the admissions mortality and vaccination status, Chief Co-ordinator of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Dr Agnes Mahomva revealed that vaccination must be accelerated as an additional prevention measure to compliment all other COVID-19 prevention measures.
The report was based on an analysis of mortuary data from 207 deaths.
“Covid-19 Third Wave Mortality: Community Deaths by Vaccination Status as of 22 July 2021 . . . 88.9 percent were not vaccinated, 3.4 percent had received the first dose and 4.8 percent were fully vaccinated, while 2.9 percent were unknown,” read part of the update
The third wave continues to unfold in Zimbabwe, with 978.88 cases per million people having been recorded as of yesterday (Thurs Jul 22.) over the previous week attributable to the general complacency in adhering to the set COVID-19 preventive measures both in the communities and workplaces.
As of 22 July, 30.41 weekly COVID-19 Deaths per Million People have been recorded in Zimbabwe as the global mortality rate is higher than that of the first and second waves.
The first wave lasted 66 days from 30 June 2020 to 4 September 2020, with 2.7 deaths per day while the second wave started on 21 December 2020 to 01 February 2021, recording 8.1 deaths per day compared to the third wave that started in June and has recorded a total of 10.5 deaths per day as at 22 July 2021.
Mahomva said more children are getting infected during this third wave compared to previous waves as all provinces have and continue to record a surge in cases and deaths since the beginning of the third wave.
“The procurement of more vaccines is essential to maintain the vaccination momentum in communities” she said.
There is need to strengthen static and outreach vaccination centres by bringing in volunteers and expanding the involvement of the private sector.
Zimbabwe embarked on the national COVID-19 vaccination programme in February, targeting to vaccinate 10 million people to achieve herd immunity.
Globally, an increased number of countries are experiencing the COVID-19 third wave.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the current peak is 80 percent higher than Africa’s previous peak as cases rose by 18 percent to over 182 000 in the week ending on July 18 excluding South Africa, driven by the lack of vaccines in the continent.
21 African countries have seen a rise in cases by over 20 higher for at least two weeks running. The highly transmissible Delta variant has been found in 26 African countries while the Alpha variant is in 38 countries and Beta is in 35 countries.
The organisation said only 1 percent of the African population has been fully vaccinated therefore there is the need for rapid access to more vaccines.
WHO urges African countries to urgently increase COVID-19 vaccinations as the congestion on vaccine shipments eases. Around 60 million doses are set to arrive in the coming weeks from the United States of America, Europe, the United Kingdom, purchased doses and other partners through the COVAX Facility. Over half a billion doses are expected through COVAX alone this year.