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Zimbabwe’s Vaccine Mandates Squeeze Some Of World’s Poorest

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A young woman prepares to get vaccinated against COVID-19 at a health facility in Harare, Zimbabwe on Friday, Sept, 24, 2021. Many employers in Zimbabwe are mandating COVID-19 vaccines for their staff, and the government has its own requirement that its 500,000 employees get the shots. That sets the southern African nation apart from nearly every other on the continent, where the most immediate challenge is still simply acquiring enough doses. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

(AP) — Many employers in Zimbabwe are mandating COVID-19 vaccines for their staff, and the government has its own requirement that its 500,000 employees get the shots. That sets the southern African nation apart from nearly every other on the continent, where the most immediate challenge is still simply acquiring enough doses.

Zimbabwe says it has ample supply for now, but that hesitancy is holding back its campaign. But the country’s strategy is raising worrying rights questions. Critics say that, unlike in richer countries that have made use of mandates, Zimbabwe’s rollout isn’t up to the task.

What’s more, they say it’s cruel to put at risk the livelihoods of people who are some of the world’s most vulnerable and already suffering during the pandemic.

 

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