ZAMBIA may have a highly susceptible population when next wave of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) strikes because only a paltry four per cent of people have been vaccinated so far.
This is despite the Government having made the various vaccine types freely available to the citizens from wherever they are in the country.
Vaccine hesitancy is a matter of global concern. There are more countries struggling to get citizens inoculated than are succeeding at the exercise.
Zambia falls in the category of countries with the smallest percentage of citizens vaccinated and therefore negatively predisposed to the next wave, which by many experts could hit in the next three months.
No wonder Health Minister Sylvia Masebo says that the Government is worried about the current state of affairs in connection with the vaccination exercise.
It is true that thanks to changes in the weather, and to the number of those who have received the jab, however small in comparison to those that have not, the rate of new infections has dropped markedly in the last two months. As have the fatalities.
But this does not mean that the danger has passed.
And those that have discarded the mask and the basic practices of hand-washing and social distances may be inviting a life-threatening condition.
Medical experts are telling us that what we have now is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. They are warning also that those who have not had the jab are at risk of serving as incubators for new variants of the COVID-19.
It is unbelievable that after the suffering and deaths visited upon us by the last wave of the COVID 19 there are still people among us who approach this pandemic with levity.
Consider the care-free behaviour of those back to their favourite haunts at bars, restaurants, casinos, and those attending social gatherings like weddings.
Very few appear to bother anymore with the mandates to keep from catching the virus or spreading it.
There may be some who think that this whole campaign was a Patriotic Front thing and therefore, with change of government, they can go back to the old normal.
Ms Masebo can help set the record straight and reignite the campaign to get more people vaccinated.
She and the newly-appointed COVID-19 advisor at State House have their job cut out making sure the next wave is not as devastating as the last one.