PEOPLE living with HIV, cancer, among other chronic
diseases, will benefit from the Covid-19 vaccine which has been rolled out
across the country as it will also boost their immune system and reduce
vulnerability to other diseases.

Since the country announced that it will roll out a
vaccination programme for Covid-19, there have been a number of myths bordering
on discouraging people living with HIV, cancer and other chronic diseases from
taking the Sinopharm vaccine which the country received from China.

However, Health and Child Care Deputy Minister, Dr John
Mangwiro, last week said contrary to social media assertations that those
living with HIV and cancer, among other chronic diseases, must not take the
vaccine, in fact the vaccine was good for them.

Addressing parliamentarians, Dr Mangwiro said although
Covid-19 vaccination will be voluntary, there was no need for people not to be
vaccinated on the basis that they are living with HIV, cancer, diabetes and

“People with cancer, HIV, diabetes mellitus and
hypertension have weakened immunities. We have no policy to say that they are
not going to be vaccinated. Actually, these people need the vaccine much more
because they need to be protected. These are the people we are saying, those
with underlying conditions and the elderly. We are targeting people who we know
have weak immunities. The elderly have their weak immunity due to age, their
marrow, reaction and production of antibodies is much slower now,” said Dr

He said those living with underlying health conditions must
get the vaccines so that they can fight Covid-19 better in case they are

“So those people with those underlying conditions must get
the vaccine so that they can fight the disease/virus better when they get it
because their antibodies will have been enhanced from the vaccine. We cannot
discriminate and it is not correct to say that they are not going to be
vaccinated,” he said.

Dr Mangwiro said they did not expect much of side effects
from the vaccine. “Any medicine or drug for that matter if it is given to a
human being, might have side effects, but from the studies that have been done
so far by the people who produce the vaccine, there seems to be very minimal
reaction. People might react. We are ready to manage the side effects and it is
very possible that it will not be very severe, it is something that we can take
control of,” he assured the country.

Meanwhile, the country is set to take delivery of another
vaccine from India. Writing on his Twitter micro-blogging handle on Friday,
President Mnangagwa said the country’s goal was to return life back to
normalcy, something he said can only be achieved if 60 percent of the
population is vaccinated.

“We are grateful to our Indian friends for committing to
donate 75 000 Covid vaccines and for the opportunity to buy more moving
forward. We are working tirelessly to obtain sufficient vaccines so we can
overcome this virus and revive our economy,” the President said. Chronicle



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