Sunday 28 March 2021


The first consignment of 35 000 doses of India’s Covaxin Covid-19 vaccines arrives in Harare today and is expected to be received by President Mnangagwa.

The government of India donated 75 000 doses and logistical arrangements are being finalised for the second batch of 40 000 doses.

Like the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines already being administered, Covaxin uses inactivated, that is killed viruses to generate the immune response in the recipient. These dead vaccines are all regarded as totally safe since no living matter or potentially poisonous matter is injected.

The arrival of the first consigment of the Indian donation adds to vaccine stocks already received as a gift from China.

The Government has a target of immunising at least 60 percent of the population (10 million people) to achieve herd immunity and is relying on vaccines from a number of countries and companies.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Air Commodore Dr Jasper Chimedza yesterday said; “We are going to take delivery of 35 000 doses of Covid-19 Covaxin donated by the Indian Government, and will be received by the President. The delivery is part of the 75 000 doses they donated and the remaining vaccines will be delivered at a date to be announced.

“The Indian Government has provided transport for the vaccines, and we expect the plane carrying the vaccines at 5:10 pm.” The vaccines will be kept in the cold rooms at the national vaccine centre according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Last night the Indian Government said the remaining doses will be availed as promised, saying the offer is part of the strong bilateral ties that exist between the two republics.

“The vaccines which were promised by the Indian Government are coming tomorrow (today). The first batch will have 35 000 doses but we are now working on logistics for the remainder,” said Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Vijay Khanduja. The Indian Government had written an urgent note for processing of the said vaccines, which are now in place.

“The Embassy of India presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Zimbabwe and has the honour to convey that a consignment of Covaxin will be arriving in Harare on 29 March 2021 at 1700hrs by flight no. EK-713,” reads part of the urgent note seen by our Harare Bureau last night.

“The embassy further has the honour to request the esteemed Ministry (of Foreign Affairs) to forward to the Ministry of Health and Child Care for making arrangements for clearing the same upon arrival in Harare.

“The Embassy of India avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Zimbabwe of its highest consideration.”

India has already administered more than 55 million doses by yesterday with India and China running the world’s largest national vaccination programmes in the two countries with the largest population.

India has see a sharp decline in the Covid-19 caseload, the BBC reports that last week Thursday they reported 59 118 new cases the smallest daily rise since October last year.


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