Harare, (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe on Tuesday took a giant step in its vaccination program when it received a second consignment of Covid-19 vaccines from China comprising 400 0000 doses of Sinopharm and Sinovac.
The country kicked off its vaccination campaign in February utilising 200 000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines donated by the Chinese government.
So far, over 36 000 frontline workers have received their first doses of the vaccine.
The latest batch consists of an additional donation of 200 000 Sinopharm vaccines and 200 000 Sinovac jabs purchased by the Zimbabwe government.
Receiving the consignment, President Emerson Mnangagwa said the development marked a milestone in the consolidation of Sino/Zim relations.
“Today we are gathered to receive the second batch of 200 000 vaccine doses donated to Zimbabwe by the People’s Republic of China and a consignment of 200 000 vaccine doses procured by Zimbabwe from Sinovac as well as 1 200 000 medical consumables procured from Sinopharm,” he said in a brief speech at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
“The People’s Republic of China’s unparalleled readiness to avail access to the vaccines for commercial procurement testifies to our shared and mutual desire to continue enhancing cooperation particularly in these times of distress and competition for resources. The fact that we are the only country in Africa which has to date received the second batch of the vaccine doses from China, attests to the strong, comprehensive and strategic nature of our partnership. We look forward to broadening and deepening our relations in the post COVID-19 era.”
President Mnangagwa said the latest delivery would enable Zimbabwe to broaden its national vaccination campaign.
“We are making steady progress in the fight against the pandemic and in the on-going National COVID-19 Vaccination Roll-out Programme,” he said.
“My administration is confident that this vaccination intervention will greatly contribute to our country’s realisation of herd immunity. The National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme will further guarantee a Zimbabwe that continues on its course to achieve Vision 2030. We are determined to emerge out of this pandemic with greater capability to play a more effective role towards peace, harmony and prosperity within the comity of nations.”
President Mnangagwa expressed gratitude to Chinese leader Xi Jinping and the Chinese government “for this generous gesture of support.”
He said China’s continued assistance and solidarity had lightened the burden during a difficult period.
“We remain thankful to China for the support of this programme. This includes the timely provision of epidemiological expertise and personal protective equipment among other aspects,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Air Zimbabwe plane which fetched the latest batch of vaccines from China was also carrying 100 000 jabs donated to Namibia by the Chinese government.
The consignment will be delivered to Namibia by Air Zimbabwe, free of charge, President Mnangagwa said.