ZIMBABWE has received 25 000 doses of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine — Sputnik V — donated by diamond miner Alrosa Group.
Speaking while receiving the vaccines yesterday, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro said people with suspected Covid-19 symptoms should seek early treatment to bolster their chances of survival.
President Mnangagwa received the first consignment of the first 25 000 doses and the latest batch will ensure those who received the shot will be fully vaccinated in the stipulated four weeks in accordance with manufacturer specifications.
The arrival of the Russian manufactured vaccines will see Zimbabwe becoming one of the few countries in the world to access the highly-rated doses.
Last week, the country took receipt of two million Sinovac vaccines and another 3,5 million jabs are expected before the end of the month in two batches of 1,5 million and two million.
The country is mainly using the Chinese-made Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines which were granted Emergency Use Authorisation by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Research conducted by the Gamaleya National Research Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) revealed that the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine has 97,6 percent efficacy.
After receiving the second batch of doses from Alrosa, Dr Mangwiro yesterday implored those with unusual symptoms not to wait until it was too late.
“I want to urge fellow Zimbabweans that Covid-19 disease is real. Once you feel unusual symptoms like headache, vomiting, difficulty in breathing, or anything else, please go to the hospital as early as you can.”
“This disease gets worse over hours and or days people will be in bad shape. I want to emphasise that people should go to hospitals and other registered formal places where they can be helped.
“At times people present late at health facilities and we end up losing them. Most of the cases that succumb would have delayed in seeking professional healthcare.
“These 25 000 doses are the second doses of the 25 000 vaccines we received about three weeks ago and those vaccinated will now be able to be vaccinated in time for their second doses so that they are fully vaccinated,” said Dr Mangwiro.
The world’s largest diamond producer, Alrosa, has operations in Zimbabwe and the company’s managing director Alrosa Zimbabwe Mr Sergey Loshkarev handed over the vaccines to the Deputy Minister Mangwiro.
“We want to thank Alrosa Zimbabwe very much for this kind gesture shown to our nation and this is what brotherhood is all about. This is a sign that it is a strong relationship.
“We really appreciate the donation which is going to go a long way in trying to alleviate this Covid-19 pandemic which has ravaged the world. We encourage everybody to be vaccinated, because this is a serious pandemic,” said Dr Mangwiro.