By Sheron Mangisi & Rodwell Mabungu
Fake news and misinformation on the Covid-19 vaccine has become number one enemy in the campaign to encourage people to be vaccinated.
Soon after the outbreak of COVID-19, with the introduction of strict lockdown measures which created extra time for people to read all kind of news, social media became a perfect breeding ground for fake news and conspiracy theories.
This has seen many people being afraid of the Covid-19 vaccination programme introduced by the government as they believe dominating misinformation that the vaccine is not safe.
Zimbabwe received a first donation of 200,000 vaccine doses from the Chinese company Sinopharm in February.
Sharon Mbeu, a teacher in Shurugwi blamed the government for not doing enough to address the issue of fake news and conspiracy theories surrounding the vaccine.
“The government must do more to educate people, starting from schools and the communities as well as putting measures to manage social media from spreading fake news surrounding the covid-19 vaccines.
“Most of us are afraid to get vaccinated because we are getting more fake news than accurate information,” she said.
Most people interviewed including health frontline workers said they are concerned that they may develop some unknown side effects as the drug is in stage three of the clinical trials.
They complained that there hasn’t been much of education in terms of the benefits and side effects.
Some churches have also joined in discouraging its members from taking part in the vaccination programme, claiming it is against the bible’s teachings.
Ruvarashe Mudzinga of Redcliff said her prophet told them not to be vaccinated because it was not supported by his teachings.
The Vaccination Scare has now escalated following the arrival of the first consignment in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, government targets to immunize 60 percent of the country’s population by the end of the year.