Zimbabwe on Monday received its first batch of the coronavirus vaccines from China at a time they are preparing to immediately begin the vaccination of health workers.
Health and Child Care minister Mr. Constantino Chiwenga who is also the vice president received the vaccines early morning after being delivered via a chartered Air Zimbabwe aero plane at the Robert Mugabe International Airport.
Having received the 200,000 doses of Sinopharm as donations from China, the finance minister Mthuli Ncube stated that Zimbabwe would buy not less than 1.3 million doses from China in the short run.
“Zimbabwe’s approach is to save lives first, then save lives livelihoods,” Said Professor Ncube.
On his side, the Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun stated that it was amongst the first nations globally to be supplied with the Sinopharm vaccine.
“You know we have a population of 1.4 billion in China and they also need to be vaccinated. We are also facing enormous demand for the supply of vaccines in China, but Zimbabwe is our brother. So the assistance of vaccines and the supply of vaccines to Zimbabwe is not a problem.” Ambassador Guo said.
In the meantime, Zimbabwe is set to have three phases of inoculation with priority given to frontline and high risk workers.
The second phase will target the prison population, the elderly, refugee camps and those with chronic illnesses while the final phase “will target those at relatively low risk until everyone is covered.”
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Zimbabwe added that it is in touch with various covid-19 vaccine manufactures amongst them India and Russia in a bid to vaccinate 10 million people or 60 percent of the population so that they attain herd immunity.
As of February 14, Zimbabwe had recorded 35 172 cases with 30,601 recoveries and 1,400 deaths.