Chiwenga Warns Private Sector Against Charging For COVID-19 Jabs

THE Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Constantino Chiwenga has read the riot act to private player in the health sector who are charging for COVID-19 vaccination jabs which are supposed to be free in the country.

By Patricia Mashiri

The warning follows revelations that  some private players have been profiteering from the COVID-19 vaccination program at the expense of majority of citizens who are now failing to access vaccines.

Speaking during the Reopening of St Anne’s Harare Hospital, VP Chiwenga said “Let me allay fears of some in our Nation who might think that the COVID-19 vaccination programme is about to falter. It is not, it will not. Government continues to place high premium on preserving life. It continues to use its resources and the International Goodwill it commands to access regular, adequate vaccines which enable us to maintain the vaccination tempo, and thus to save our people.

I also wish to reiterate that Government policy is that of ensuring free vaccination for all citizens who are ready and willing. To that end, Government takes a very dim view of actors in the private sector we hear are charging Zimbabweans for jabs.

“If they are not ready to participate in the vaccination programme on terms and parameters set down by Government, they are advised to look elsewhere for profitable services, Not around vaccination! It is a no go area for fortune hunters: those morally deprived practitioners who seek fish in troubled times. COVID-19 is a global pandemic, it is viral and thus a matter of Public Health concern. Its containment and all efforts towards that end amount to public effort and public goods and that should never be privatized. I hope this message reaches all quarters,” Vice President said.

The COVID-19 vaccination programme has been free to those who are willing to be vaccination with 688 696 have received their first dose of the vaccination and 385 275 received their second dose as of 7 June 2021.

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