Blessings Chidakwa-Herald Reporter
Zimbabwe has acquired a total of 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, enough for almost 10 million people, a development that places the country among the top rated countries in procuring Covid-19 supplies according to the International Monetary Fund and the World Health Organisation.
With 6 154 516 jabs given by Saturday evening there are obviously enough supplies to keep Zimbabwe going for some time, even with unavoidable wastage from dropped vials and the like, and it is now up to the people to line up at vaccination points.
The move will go a long way in fighting the pandemic, especially after the Government recently directed that children aged 16 and 17 be vaccinated.
Sinovac was the first vaccine readily available in Zimbabwe to be approved for teenagers.
Officiating at the recent Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation celebrations, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube extended gratitude to the Indian government for its support for Zimbabwe in the fight against Covid-19.
“You may be aware that the Government has in response to the Covid-19 pandemic spent over US$140 million towards acquisition of vaccines. Our target is 20 million vaccines and we are good as done. We have reached that target already,” he said.
“Some of these vaccines of course are coming through the African Union Facility and we agreed to about 7 million doses and we have since paid the deposit for these vaccines,” he said.
With health experts being on record that the pandemic has not yet been defeated as its threat continues to hover perilously, vaccination is critical to defeat the Covid-19 although other public health measures will need to be continued.
Minister Ncube noted that the City of Victoria Falls, the country’s biggest tourism destination, had reached its vaccination target.
“We have over-performed, exceeded herd immunity target,” he said.
Minister Ncube also acknowledged the support extended to the people of Zimbabwe by the Government of India in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic particularly the donation of 75 000 Covid-19 vaccine doses.
“The government of India has also donated medicines and ambulances in support of this cause. The ambulances are being distributed across the country to various provinces,” he said.
Zimbabwe has approved and is using a number of vaccines on its populations including, Sinopharm and Sputinik-V.
But with the present results and local recommendations only Sinovac has so far been exclusively recommended to the 16 and 17-year-olds.
In a recent comprehensive joint database to track the number of Covid-19 vaccines secured through different channels, IMF and WHO gave Zimbabwe a rating of around 98 percent for its efforts that have seen payments already made for around 85 percent of the vaccines needed for the national programme.