Covid-19 Vaccines Face A Trust Gap Against Some Traditional African Remedies
African communities are still limited on the medical resources they have and the number of vaccines to offer people. Low and medium-income families are affected by this even more so. Data from Zimbabwe also states people there prefer to trust natural homemade remedies over the new vaccine. Information about the vaccine is minimally offered to the public. Citizens are worried they are more considered test subjects, even though these shots have been priorly tested and approved. Additionally, the community there does not have healthcare centers nearby. It is easier to reach out to the village or town’s doctor often referred to as a healer, or even make the medicine at home.
During the early stages of COVID-19, the government also recommended these remedies. Which officials now know was not the best decision. The conclusion came from good intentions because Zimbabwe has not had the best healthcare system and low financial resources. The government even started allowing these remedies to be manufactured and sold in stores across the country, though there is no proof that they are helping against the virus. Other countries, like Tanzania and Madagascar, have also similarly followed the plan that Zimbabwe has set into place. However, Zimbabwe’s government now has a new goal of vaccinating over half of its population and is worried these homemade remedies will risk that goal.
China has stated that they will donate their own vaccines to Africa, which has shown to be less effective than other versions like ones from Moderna and Pfizer. Some religious and political leaders are not helping the situation either. From these groups, some state that this imported medicine should be ignored and not be taken. With all of these factors, officials are going to have a hard time changing the minds of the citizens but are not going to give up on their goal of vaccinating as many individuals as they can.