Tuesday, 9 February 2021


THE country is expected to receive its first batch of the Covid-19 vaccine on Monday with the second one at the beginning of next month as Government commits to protecting citizens from the deadly pandemic.

Government has set aside US$100 million for the procuring Covid-19 vaccine while the Chinese Government extended 200 000 doses of its Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine to the country. Government has said the vaccination programme would be voluntary for all citizens.

Presenting a post-Cabinet media briefing yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said frontline workers in the health sector would be prioritised in the allocation of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“In terms of vaccines procurement, the Government of the People’s Republic of China extended a donation of 200 000 Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine doses. The donation and initial batch purchased are expected in Zimbabwe by 15 February 2021 and the first week of March, 2021, respectively.

The 76 to 86 percent efficacy of the Sinopharm vaccine was endorsed by the World Health Organisation,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

“Efforts to procure other Covid-19 vaccines such as the Sputnik V (Victory) from Russia, among others, are underway. India, like China, has also offered a donation and an option to purchase commercially and modalities for this offer are still being worked out. Zimbabwe has also submitted its expression of interest to participate under the African Union Covid-19 Vaccination Programme.”

The minister said the private sector will complement Government in procuring Covid-19 vaccine and some of them will inoculate their employees.

She said Vice-President and Health and Child Care Minister Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube are leading the process of procuring and rolling out of the Covid-19 vaccines.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the country targets to vaccine about 10 million people.

“Regarding the Covid-19 vaccination programme, the Ministry of Health and Child Care plans to vaccinate about 60 percent of the country’s population in order to achieve herd immunity (10 million people). A development plan mapping the priority groups for the roll-out of the vaccine has already been developed. Government has set aside US$100 million for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines. Treasury will continue to ensure funding for procurement of other medical supplies including medicines and PPE in the fight against the Covid-19,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She said the vaccination programme will be scientifically informed as the country will make independent decisions based on national interest. Herald


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