Vaccine roll-out imminent

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Harare (New Ziana) – The government is targeting to administer COVID-19 vaccine to at least 3.6 million people under the first phase of the vaccination programme due to begin this week.

On Monday, Zimbabwe received the first of its COVID-19 vaccines, 200 000 doses donated by the Chinese government which are earmarked for front-line health workers and vulnerable citizens.

An additional 600 000 doses bought by the Zimbabwe government are expected from China next month, while negotiations for other vaccines from Russia, India and the United Kingdom are underway.

Inoculations, which are on voluntary basis, begin immediately to help the country contain a second wave of the pandemic which has so far killed over 1 400 and infected over 35 000 others.

In a document titled “The National Roll Out and Deployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP),” the Ministry of Health and Child Care says the ultimate target is to vaccinate a minimum of 60 percent of the population on a voluntary basis for free.

A total of 49 000 health personnel under the Ministry of Health and Child Care would be among the first to receive the vaccine in accordance with a priority list drawn up by government which also covers workers at ports of entry and those in the security services sector under the first phase of the inoculation program.

Phase two and three of the vaccination program will see 3.050 million people being vaccinated respectively to reach the targeted herd immunity.

“The actual administration of the vaccine will be done at fixed and outreach points. 1-2 outreach teams will be allocated per rural district depending on the size of the district with 5 people per team,” the Ministry said.

“Harare City will be allocated 11 teams, Bulawayo 4 teams and Chitungwiza 2 teams.”

The Ministry said the vaccine will be administered in accordance with the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe and World Health Organisation guidelines.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is an emergency vaccine registered by MCAZ under Emergency use Authority, this is in terms of section 75 of Medicines and Allied Substances Control Act. The Pharmacovigilance and Clinical Trials Committee will implement vaccine vigilance plans to monitor the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine in use,” it said.

“Ministry will set up and implement the safety monitoring plan to enable swift detection of any Adverse Events Following Immunization.”

On the budgetary front, the Ministry said the total estimated operational budget for COVID-19 vaccination over all three phases was USD6. 7million.

The budget would cover areas including planning and training, vaccination, supportive supervision, advocacy and communication among others.
New Ziana

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