During an interview after being asked about the efficacy of the donated vaccine, Dr Mudyiradima had this to say,
“When giving the health workers their shots of the vaccine we will be collecting samples and results to check if the vaccine works against the South African Variant. This is because when the Chinese created this vaccine they did not create it specifically for the variant so they did not test it. So at the moment no one can certainly say it works against the variant even I cannot ascertain you.”
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human rights have decided to take the Ministry of Health and Child Care to court over the Sinopharm vaccination if the Ministry does not respond by the 19th of February. Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal practitioners represent the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. This is all a result of the comments made by Dr Mudiyiradima on the 15th of February when Zimbabwe received 200 000 doses of the Chinese vaccine.
Another call for concern is the numbers published by the Secretary of Information Nick Mangwana. In a post on twitter he writes a list of the first beneficiaries and these are The Police, The Defence Forces, Prison Services, Immigration and Health workers. Mangwana posts a total of 8 324 beneficiaries.
However, since the Ministry of Health and Child has not tested the vaccine and will test on the first beneficiaries, the sample size is quite large. If there are any severe side effects then it is a problem and this certainly violates Human Rights. In a letter to the Ministry the lawyers outline the proper procedure of the deployment cycle of a vaccine and compare it to the one they intend to adopt
“Our client is informed and verily believe how the general stages of the development cycle of a vaccine work. It is therefore our Client’s view that the clinical trials precede the rolling out of the vaccination programme, the aim being to establish whether the vaccination drug undergoing trials is safe to administer and we will not have adverse side effects. Clinical trials cannot be conducted simultaneously with the actual vaccination of the population as the Acting Secretary Dr Mudyiradima appears to suggest. If that happens many lives would be put to risk,” the letter reads.
However, the vaccination process has already started in Harare at Wilkins Hospital. It seems we are basing on what other countries have said without carrying the proper scientific tests. Just yesterday the Ministry of Health updated the public that the South African variant is dominant in Zimbabwe constituting 61 per cent of all cases at the moment. Since the vaccination is voluntary the Government will not be held accountable for any effects encountered by the beneficiaries.