Zimbabwe took delivery of 800 000 more Covid-19 vaccines yesterday and Government has assured citizens that everyone wanting the life-saving jab will get it.
The 800 000 Sinopharm shots were purchased from China, with an additional 700 000 doses from the same manufacturer set to be delivered today.
So far, Zimbabwe has taken delivery of over 6 million vaccines, with about 12 million more secured from different facilities.
Authorities said the only lingering challenge was vaccine hesitancy emanating from safety pessimism from some quotas despite assurances from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Yesterday, Local Government and Public Works Deputy Minister Marian Chombo received the vaccines accompanied by Chief Director Curative Services in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Maxwell Hove and other senior Government officials.
“The Government of Zimbabwe through the visionary leadership of President ED Mnangagwa is almost flattening the curve notwithstanding those succumbing to the pandemic.
“I urge the people of Zimbabwe to please queue up for the vaccines. The vaccines are now in the country and we won’t run short as we promised as a Government of Zimbabwe,” said Deputy Minister Chombo.
Most of the vaccines were paid for by Treasury while about 500 000 came as donations mainly from The People’s Republic of China, as well as India and diamond miner, Alrosa Zimbabwe.
Dr Hove also assured the nation that there was sufficient infrastructure to keep the vaccines in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications.
“We have no shortage of vaccines because of the effort of the Government of Zimbabwe.
“We are really grateful to the President (Cde Mnangagwa) and his team of ministers and resource mobilisation for being able to acquire this amount of vaccines which are difficult to get on the international market.
“I am sure you have seen in the media that the vaccines are in short supply. Most of African countries, developing countries are struggling to get these vaccines. But as Zimbabwe we have so far managed to get well over 5,2 million doses, that is really commendable,” said Dr Hove.
The call at the moment, he said, was for people to get vaccinated.
Dr Hove insisted there was no vaccine shortage in Zimbabwe.
The vaccination process has been decentralised even to remote areas as part of the universal health coverage being championed by the Government.
Under the universal health coverage, which feeds into Zimbabwe’s Vision 2030 of an upper middle income economy, Zimbabwe was targeting equitable health of sufficient quality for all.
Said Dr Hove: “We do not have a shortage of vaccines at the moment, what we do have is vaccine hesitancy from the people of Zimbabwe.
“This is why we are saying let’s get vaccinated so that we can be protected against all these variants that are coming from other countries because they are quite virulent.
“So if we are vaccinated, it means there are fewer variants that are going to be formed in our county.”