Harare, (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe on Saturday received 500 000 dosses of the Sinopharm vaccine bought from China as government targets to intensify its vaccination campaign as the country battled a third wave of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The country has since March taken delivery of over 2.2 million doses made up of Sinopharm and Sinovac from China, Sputnik V from Russia and Covax from India.
To date, Zimbabwe has in its widely lauded vaccination programme, administered over 1.2 million doses from the over 1.7 million it received since March , with 737 483 people having received the first dose and 484 434 the second dose.
Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube said the delivery was “going to bolster our vaccination programme as a country.”
“We are very organised, we are very focused and we are very diligent in implementing our vaccination programme,” he said receiving the vaccines.
“Saving lives is important. But it’s not just about saving lives, it’s about economic recovery because when people are vaccinated, it’s easier for companies to operate, it’s easier to do business and carrying on with that business is what will revive the economy.”
Since the outbreak of the virus in March last year, Zimbabwe has to date recorded 45 217 cases of infection and 1 712 deaths, with the recovery rate standing at 83 percent.
Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun said Harare would remain a priority on getting the vaccines.
“Although there is a huge demand for Chinese vaccines both domestically and internationally, we will continue to do our best to ensure supply to Zimbabwe,” he tweeted.
“Much more will come in the very near future.”
Government has said it is expecting to receive an additional two million Sinovac doses before the end of next week.
“Two weeks after that we want to bring another 1.5 million doses from Sinopharm,” Prof Ncube said.
“By end of August, we want to bring in another 3.5 million doses from China.”
Health and Child Care Deputy Minister, Dr John Mangwiro said the government will be targeting border towns among other hot spot areas under its vaccination drive.
“We are going to target areas that are very risky and that the disease can come through…,” he said.
Zimbabwe will need to inoculate at least 10 million people to attain herd immunity.