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Zimbabwe makes COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for public employees

Those who do not get vaccinated by Oct. 15, 2021 to face disciplinary action, says gazette notification

John Cassim   | 28.09.2021
Zimbabwe makes COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for public employees

HARARE, Zimbabwe

 The Zimbabwean government has put out a new law requiring all civil servants to get vaccinated or face disciplinary action.

Those who do not get vaccinated by Oct. 15, 2021, will be "subject to disciplinary action" for failing to fulfill official orders, according to a gazette notification published Monday night.

“Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this order or any other law, no later than the 15th of October 2021, every member of the Public Service shall be fully vaccinated. And any member not so vaccinated shall be barred from the workplace after the 16th October 2021,” read the gazette 2021.

Those barred from attending their workplaces will not be paid, the law says.

Government employees who have valid reasons for not being vaccinated against the coronavirus have been granted a reprieve until Dec. 31 under the new law.

They would, however, give valid reasons to their superiors for an exemption until Dec. 31, after which they would be barred from working.

Zimbabwe's countrywide COVID-19 immunization campaign began in February this year, with the target of vaccinating 10 million people, or 60% of the country's population, by the end of the year.

Due to a number of negative theories, Zimbabweans avoided the vaccination program, causing the government to backtrack on its previous assurances that vaccination was free and optional.

The government eased the COVID-19 lockdown last month, but only vaccinated persons were allowed to attend church services or dine in restaurants. As of Sept. 27, 3 million people have received their first shot, with 2.2 million have been fully vaccinated.

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