Zim takes delivery of Covaxin vaccine
Harare, (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe on Monday took delivery of 35 000 doses of the Covaxin vaccine donated by the Indian government, enhancing the country’s first against the spread of Covid-19.
The Asian nation pledged to assist Zimbabwe in its fight against the ravaging pandemic, which has infected nearly 37 000 people and killed 1 520 others in the country since March last year, by donating 75 000 doses of the Indian made vaccine.
Manufactured by renowned pharmaceutical firm, Bharat Biotech, Covaxin is said to have an efficacy rate of over 80 percent.
Zimbabwe launched its vaccination drive last month after receiving 200 000 dosses of the Chinese manufactured Sinopharm vaccine, before taking delivery of a further 400 000 doses equally split between Sinopharm and Sinovac.
President Mnangagwa and Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vijay Khanduja respectively represented their governments at the handover ceremony.
President Mnangagwa said the gesture was timely, coming at a time the country had launched its national vaccination programme.
“This generous gift is welcome and timely gesture of friendship, support and solidarity in the midst of unprecedented times of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
“The quick response by the Republic of India to despatch this consignment of vaccine doses, soon after my government approved the use of Covaxin in our country, testifies to her genuine desire to promote sustainable access to affordable and effective vaccines.”
Relations between the two countries stretched back to the days of the fight for independence, and had overtime evolved and tightened, with cooperation in various economic sectors he said.
President Mnangagwa said the two countries were looking forward to strengthening cooperation in other economic sectors, while inviting Indian investors to scout for opportunities in Zimbabwe.
Khanduja said the donation was testament to the strong bilateral ties between the two countries, stressing that the vaccine was safe, and had already been used to inoculate millions of people in India.
“The vaccine has proved to be 81 percent effective in the clinical trials that we have done so far. It has proved to be effective even against the mutant strains,” he said.
Vice President, Constantino Chiwenga, who is also health minister, said Covid-19 remained a major threat and the country will continue to procure more vaccines until it attains herd immunity.
The target is to vaccinate at least 10 million people.
Dr Chiwenga urged people across the political divide to get vaccinated when they get the chance.
“Covid-19 is neither political nor a class issue,” he said.