Sinopharm vaccine safe : President Mnangagwa
Harare (New Ziana)- President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday said local medical experts have ascertained that the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine from China, which arrived in the country this week, was safe.
Zimbabwe took delivery of the first 200 000 Sinopharm vaccine doses donated by China on Monday and earmarked it for vaccination of frontline workers and vulnerable citizens.
The vaccine is manufactured by a Chinese firm, Sinopharm, and is one of a handful of approved vaccines for use worldwide.
The first phase of inoculations, which are on a voluntary basis, begin soon.
Addressing the inaugural ruling Zanu PF party Politburo meeting for 2021, President Mnangagwa said government would not roll out vaccines which are not certified to be safe.
“The national response strategy will see the introduction of Covid-19 vaccines to our population which have been ascertained to be safe by our medical experts. These will be state funded and administered for free.
“I want to assure the party that overall health and safety of all Zimbabweans will remain a priority as we roll out the national vaccination strategy,” he said.
The President also commended China for the donation.
“Allow me to once again express my gratitude to the President of China Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party and the government and people of China for the kind donation of 200 000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine.
“These will go a long way in our national vaccination strategy,” he said.
The Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine has an efficacy of up to 86 percent and is being used by other countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, UAE, Morocco and Egypt.
Zimbabwe plans to inoculate 60 percent of its population by year end.
Government will spend USD6.7 million for the vaccination program.