Authors: Grant Murewanhema, Godfrey Musuka, Knowledge Denhere, Innocent Chingombe, Munyaradzi Paul Mapingure, and Tafadzwa Dzinamarira.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges for the population. The advent of national COVID-19 vaccination programmes was therefore welcome as a key control strategy for the COVID-19 pandemic, as evidence has shown that vaccination is the best strategy to reduce the adverse individual and population level adverse outcomes associated with infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Zimbabwe rolled out its vaccination programme in February 2021 with an ambitious target to vaccinate at least 60% of its eligible population by December 2021. However, by that time, the country was still to reach that target. To move the vaccination programme towards achieving this target, it is crucial to understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the programme. We, therefore, with this narrative review, discuss some of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the programme since its rollout in February 2021. Though the programme has several strengths and opportunities to leverage on, we argue that among other challenges, the emergence of new variants of concern poses one of the biggest threats to local, regional and international vaccination programmes and requires concerted multistakeholder efforts to deal with. Additionally, addressing vaccine hesitancy remains as important as availing the vaccines to the population, to obtain the most benefits out of the programme.