Zim to receive Covid-19 vaccine from China next week

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Harare (New Ziana)-Zimbabwe will receive the 200 000 Covid-19 vaccine doses donated by China on February 15, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa said on Tuesday.

China listed Zimbabwe among the first developing nations to get free doses of the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine as countries battle to contain the pandemic.

A number of vaccines, whose efficacy in preventing infection and re-infection is however not 100 percent, are now available to reduce the spread of the virus which has killed millions globally.

Addressing the inaugural post Cabinet briefing of 2021, Mutsvangwa said “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,” she said.

She said Zimbabwe had purchased an unspecified amount of Russia’s Sputnik vaccine.

“Meanwhile, 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,” she said.

Zimbabwe, the Minister said, has also submitted interest to participate in the African Union Covid-19 vaccines programme.

“Zimbabwe has also submitted its expression of interest to participate under the AU COVID-19 Vaccination Programme,” she said.

The private sector, said Mutsvangwa, will also support Government through a formula that allows them to keep 50 percent of what they procure for their employees.

Government has said the initial consignment of Covid-19 vaccines would cater for frontline workers, the elderly and other vulnerable groups in Zimbabwe.

“The administration of the COVID-19 vaccinations in Zimbabwe will be on a voluntary basis,” said Mutsvangwa.

Government has also said it has a budget of up to US$100 million to acquire doses of the vaccine to cover a part of the country’s population.

The country has since March last year recorded 34 658 cases of Covid-19 and 1 339 deaths.

New Ziana

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