Canada Vs Zimbabwe: Two Divergent Paths Of Covid Vaccination

When mother-of-three Amanda Wood heard that hundreds of coronavirus shots were available for teens, only one thing prevented her from racing to the vaccination site at a Toronto high school — her 13-year-old daughter’s fear of needles.

Wood told Lola: If you get the vaccine you’ll be able to see your friends again. You’ll be able to play sports. And enticed by the promise of resuming a normal, teen life, Lola agreed.

In Zimbabwe, more than 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers) and a world away from Canada, immunity is harder to obtain.

On a recent day, Andrew Ngwenya sat outside his home in a working-class township in Harare, the capital, pondering how he could save himself and his family from Covid-19.

Ngwenya and his wife De-egma had gone to a hospital that sometimes had spare doses. Hours later, fewer than 30 people had been inoculated.
The Ngwenyas, parents of four children, were sent home, still desperate for immunisation.

“We are willing to have it but we can’t access it,” he said. “We need it, where can we get it?”

The stories of the Wood and Ngwenya families reflect a world starkly divided between vaccine haves and have nots, between those who can imagine a world beyond the pandemic and those who can only foresee months and perhaps years of illness and death.

In one country, early stumbles in the fight against Covid-19 were overcome thanks to money and a strong public health infrastructure.

In the other, poor planning, a lack of resources and the failure of a global mechanism intended to share scarce vaccines have led to a desperate shortage of Covid-19 shots — and oxygen tanks and protective equipment, as well. —AP

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