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By Precious Manomano
Apostolic sects, whose members have been known for resisting national health programmes such as vaccination, say they fully embrace the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
In an interview on Tuesday, Union of Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe (UDACIZA) founder Mrs Gloria Chitanda said: “We are urging members of the apostolic sects to get vaccinated. People should ignore information that is circulating on social media which is claiming negative effects associated with vaccination.
“Vaccination is the only way to go, there is no other chance.”
Apostolic churches constitute about 38 percent of the country’s population and over the years, they were among groups of people frequently affected when diseases broke out.
About seven leaders of individual sects that fall under UDACIZA were vaccinated on Monday at Victoria Falls Hospital, where President Mnangagwa officially launched the second stage of vaccination under phase one.
A member of UDACIZA, who is also the senior prophet in Johane Masowe eSabata, Mr Morris Jonasi, said they were raising awareness regarding and many members had expressed keenness to take their jabs.
“Vaccination is for our own safety so everyone should understand the importance of vaccination.”
“We have already sensitised our members so as a church leader, I am impressed that all members in our sect are not resisting the vaccine,” said Mr Jonasi.
The country’s frontline workers such as doctors, nurses, members of the security establishment, along with media practitioners, have been receiving Covid-19 vaccines in the first phase of the vaccination programme.
Some religious leaders have come under fire for discouraging their members to take vaccine.
Zimbabwe has approved the use of the Sinopharm and Sinovac from China, Covaxin from India and Russia’s Sputnik V.