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GOVERNMENT has approved vaccinations of 16 to 17-year-olds against COVID-19 and prescribed the Chinese Sinovac vaccine for the youths.

In a statement yesterday, Acting President and Health minister Constantino Chiwenga said educational institutions should start the vaccination campaign for the teenagers with immediate effect.

“Based on the available scientific data in line with the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe guidance, specialist paediatricians have recommended the vaccination of the 16 to 17 years age group with the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine,” Chiwenga said.

“The protocol for the younger age groups is still under consideration. The ministry wishes to advise the public that the COVID-19 vaccination of the 16 to 17 years age group has been approved.

“All provinces, secondary schools, colleges, universities and vaccination centres are hereby required to commence the vaccination campaign of this age group with immediate effect. For the avoidance of doubt, the only vaccine type eligible for this age group is the Sinovac vaccine.”

Zimbabwe targets to vaccinate 60% of its population, which is about 10 million people, to achieve herd immunity by December this year.

Vaccination is in progress under the Chinese Sinophram, Sinovac and the Russian Sputnik vaccine doses.

As of Sunday, 2 590 742 people had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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