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EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-306312


Introduction: Health care workers (HCWs) are among the priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination in Zimbabwe. This study was done to assess HCWs’ COVD-19 vaccine perceptions and confidence.Methodology: An analytic cross sectional study was conducted among HCWs from City of Harare health facilities. Data was collected using interviewer administered structured questionnaires which were developed using the Health Belief Model. STATA was used for data analysis. Kruskal-Wallis test and two sample Wilcoxon rank sum test were used to determine predictors of vaccine willingness.Results: A total of 513 participants were interviewed and 72·7% were females. The median age was 40 years (Q1=33, Q3=49). Nurses constituted the majority (46·8%). Social media was the leading source of COVID-19 vaccine information. The majority (92·2%) were at risk of contracting COVID-19 with 76·2% describing the risk as high. Of the participants, 20·2% were willing to receive the vaccine when it became available, 39·1% would wait and 40·7% would not at all receive the vaccine. COVID-19 vaccine perception score ranged from eight to 42. Significant predictors of willingness to receive the vaccine were sex (b= -1·689, P=0·01) and perception score (b= 0·172, P< 0·0001).Conclusion: Negative COVID-19 vaccine perceptions were demonstrated among the health care workers in the City of Harare and these were associated with unwillingness to be vaccinated. Targeted health education and COVID-19 vaccine awareness needs to be conducted among HCWs. Tailored strategies to address vaccine concerns raised in the study will decrease vaccine hesitancy.Funding: None to declare. Declaration of Interest: None to declare.

Lancet Glob Health ; 9(12): e1658-e1666, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475185


BACKGROUND: Advances in SARS-CoV-2 sequencing have enabled identification of new variants, tracking of its evolution, and monitoring of its spread. We aimed to use whole genome sequencing to describe the molecular epidemiology of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and to inform the implementation of effective public health interventions for control in Zimbabwe. METHODS: We performed a retrospective study of nasopharyngeal samples collected from nine laboratories in Zimbabwe between March 20 and Oct 16, 2020. Samples were taken as a result of quarantine procedures for international arrivals or to test for infection in people who were symptomatic or close contacts of positive cases. Samples that had a cycle threshold of less than 30 in the diagnostic PCR test were processed for sequencing. We began our analysis in July, 2020 (120 days since the first case), with a follow-up in October, 2020 (at 210 days since the first case). The phylogenetic relationship of the genome sequences within Zimbabwe and global samples was established using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods. FINDINGS: Of 92 299 nasopharyngeal samples collected during the study period, 8099 were PCR-positive and 328 were available for sequencing, with 156 passing sequence quality control. 83 (53%) of 156 were from female participants. At least 26 independent introductions of SARS-CoV-2 into Zimbabwe in the first 210 days were associated with 12 global lineages. 151 (97%) of 156 had the Asp614Gly mutation in the spike protein. Most cases, 93 (60%), were imported from outside Zimbabwe. Community transmission was reported 6 days after the onset of the outbreak. INTERPRETATION: Initial public health interventions delayed onset of SARS-CoV-2 community transmission after the introduction of the virus from international and regional migration in Zimbabwe. Global whole genome sequence data are essential to reveal major routes of spread and guide intervention strategies. FUNDING: WHO, Africa CDC, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, and Genome Research Limited.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemics , Genome, Viral , Public Health Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Travel-Related Illness , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Whole Genome Sequencing , Young Adult , Zimbabwe/epidemiology
EClinicalMedicine ; 41: 101172, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1474488


BACKGROUND: By the end of July 2021 Zimbabwe, has reported over 100,000 SARS-CoV-2 infections. The true number of SARS-CoV-2 infections is likely to be much higher. We conducted a seroprevalence survey to estimate the prevalence of past SARS-CoV-2 in three high-density communities in Harare, Zimbabwe before and after the second wave of SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: Between November 2020 and April 2021 we conducted a cross-sectional study of randomly selected households in three high-density communities (Budiriro, Highfield and Mbare) in Harare. Consenting participants answered a questionnaire and a dried blood spot sample was taken. Samples were tested for anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibodies using the Roche e801 platform. FINDINGS: A total of 2340 individuals participated in the study. SARS-CoV-2 antibody results were available for 70·1% (620/885) and 73·1% (1530/2093) of eligible participants in 2020 and 2021. The median age was 22 (IQR 10-37) years and 978 (45·5%) were men. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was 19·0% (95% CI 15·1-23·5%) in 2020 and 53·0% (95% CI 49·6-56·4) in 2021. The prevalence ratio was 2·47 (95% CI 1·94-3·15) comparing 2020 with 2021 after adjusting for age, sex, and community. Almost half of all participants who tested positive reported no symptoms in the preceding six months. INTERPRETATION: Following the second wave, one in two people had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 suggesting high levels of community transmission. Our results suggest that 184,800 (172,900-196,700) SARS-CoV-2 infections occurred in these three communities alone, greatly exceeding the reported number of cases for the whole city. Further seroprevalence surveys are needed to understand transmission during the current third wave despite high prevalence of past infections. FUNDING: GCRF, Government of Canada, Wellcome Trust, Bavarian State Ministry of Sciences, Research, and the Arts.