THE Government is set to vaccinate at least 80 percent of the population once negotiations with potential suppliers of the vaccine, China, Russia and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have been completed.
China, which developed its own vaccine and has already started vaccinating its entire population, has already listed Zimbabwe as one of the countries which it intends to assist with the vaccine. Health and Child Care Principal Director, Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Robert Mudyiradima, who is in charge of the vaccination programme said Government had already agreed to take the vaccine and all the necessary resources have been made available.
Dr Mudyiradima said the country intends to vaccinate at least 80 percent of the population once the vaccine is made available. This translates to at least 11,2 million doses of the vaccine out of a population of about 14,65 million.
“We are in negotiations with China, Russia and the World Health Organisations (WHO) so that we get the vaccine. As Government we have already decided to take the vaccine and it’s not a matter of if, but when and which one, we are going to use. We need to vaccinate at least 80 percent of the population initially. We will however, eventually vaccinate everyone. We have been informed by the financier that all the resources we need are available,” he said.
Dr Mudyiradima said Government was waiting for official communication from the African Union (AU) on the vaccine that is said to have been facilitated by the continental block with the assistance of Afrieximbank.
“We only learnt of that development through the media. We are waiting for official communication from the African Union,” he said.
Zimbabwe has adopted a measured approach where experts are interrogating all safety concerns over the vaccination against Covid-19 which will be done on a voluntary basis. In a statement on Friday, the Minister of Health and Child Care, Vice-President General (Retired) Dr Constantino Chiwenga said the Government was doing everything possible to ensure that citizens were safe from possible side effects of some newly introduced Covid-19 vaccines.
He said the vaccination will be only rolled out to citizens on a voluntary basis once all the technical and administrative obligations are met.
“I am also aware that some of our citizens are anxious to get vaccinated. The Government is following the development and dissemination of Covid-19 vaccines by other states, with keen interest. Despite the observations made that other African, European and Asian countries had started rolling out vaccines, Zimbabwe adopted a measured approach, with experts interrogating all safety concerns. As soon as all technical and administrative obligations are met, Zimbabweans can expect to be vaccinated.
The vaccination is going to be voluntary. Let me underscore that my ministry is doing everything possible to ensure that our citizens are safe from possible side effects of some Covid-19 vaccines, currently on the shelf,” he said.