Tuesday, 2 February 2021

ZIMBABWE TO GET CHINESE VACCINES

ZIMBABWE is set to be one of the first countries to benefit from the Covid-19 vaccines which the Chinese government will soon roll out to 14 developing countries in the fight against the deadly global pandemic.

China is also actively participating in the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s COVAX initiative to provide vaccines to developing countries. As at February 1, Zimbabwe has reported 1 234 Covid-19 related deaths and a total number of 33 548 cases.

Globally, the total number of Covid-19 deaths has exceeded 2,2 million. Posting on his official Twitter page, China’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Guo Shaochun said his country will provide vaccines to 14 countries including Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabwe will be one of the first 14 countries to receive vaccine aid from China very soon,” he said.

Already, China has donated half a million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to Pakistan as the world economic giant lives to its commitment of making Covid-19 vaccines, developed and deployed in China, a global public good.

Other countries in line to receive shots from China include the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Mongolia, the Palestinian territories, Belarus, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea, according to a Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry statement shared by Ambassador Guo.

In future, China plans to assist a further 38 developing countries with vaccines, the statement said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged at the 73rd World Health Assembly in November last year that China’s vaccines, once developed and deployed, will be made a global public good and help to realise the accessibility and affordability of Covid-19 vaccines in developing countries.

China is among the front-runners in vaccine research and development (R&D) with one Chinese vaccine given conditional approval for general public use and several others currently undergoing clinical trials of various stages.

The cooperation between Zimbabwe and China reflects the sincere mutual assistance between the two as all-weather strategic cooperative partners.

President Mnangagwa last weekend assured the country that no resource will be spared as the country intensifies efforts to procure the vaccine, which would have been recommended by experts to be safe for inoculation among Zimbabweans.

The country has a population of around 15 million and to achieve herd immunity, which can be achieved when most of a population is immune to an infectious disease, providing indirect protection to those who are not immune to the disease, at least 10 million Zimbabweans should be vaccinated. Chronicle

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