Misa-Zimbabwe calls for inclusion of Journalists in COVID-19 vaccination priority roll-out
February 17, 2021
By Wallace Mawire
Harare,Zimbabwe-MISA Zimbabwe has called upon the government to prioritise and also include journalists among the first priority groups listed for the COVID-19 vaccination rollout programme.
“Our request is informed by the fact that the media was declared an essential service in terms of Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 regulations,” MISA-Zimbabwe said.
The media watchdog organization said that Journalists, together with other essential priority groups, are frontline workers that need to be prioritised as well given the critical role they play in keeping the nation informed on developments and measures the government is taking to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In any case, the media, by virtue of its fundamental and normative role of informing and educating, is key to the coverage of the immunisation rollout,” MISA-Zimbabwe said.
It added that the media can, therefore, not be left out for later consideration as journalists will be reporting from the frontline as the country rolls out immunisation of the essential groups identified to receive the first jabs.
The organization added that the government can work closely with the Zimbabwe Media Commission, media houses and media representative organisations on how best to implement the immunisation for journalists as they are a critical component of the sectors and groups that have been declared essential services.
They said that Journalists are frontline workers that risk their lives as they collect and disseminate information hence the need to prioritise their health and safety.
MISA-Zimbabwe added that lessons can be drawn from Zambia, which through its Ministry of Health, recently announced that journalists would be among the first recipients of the COVID-19 vaccines when they arrive in that country.
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