Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor
President Mnangagwa says vaccination of citizens will start this week following the arrival of 200 000 vaccines from China this morning.
In a tweet, the President said: “The first batch of vaccines for Zimbabwe has been successfully delivered. We start vaccinating Zimbabweans this week!
“The faster our country is protected against this virus; the faster Zimbabwe’s economy can flourish. God bless you all, God bless Zimbabwe!”
The vaccines were donated by China and will cover 100 000 people, with each one expected to receive two.
Zimbabwe has also purchased 600 000 jabs from China that are expected to be delivered in March while more will be purchased from Russia. The country has set aside US$100 million for Covid-19 vaccines to ensure everyone in need of the jab gets it.
Zimbabwe can also get over three million doses of vaccines at a cost of US$25 million from the 270 million jabs available to the African continent.
The vaccines will cover 15 percent of Zimbabwe’s population, but the country has to inform the Afreximbank if it wants the vaccines, otherwise they will be reallocated.
The vaccines are being sourced by the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Force set up by immediate-past African Union chairman and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
They will complement the vaccines secured via Covax, the globally-pooled vaccine procurement and distribution effort, which has clinched agreements to secure two billion doses.
Every African country has an allocation based on its population size and Zimbabwe’s share is about three million. It is expected that Zimbabwe will pay the almost US$25 million through drawing down from a facility at Afreximbank, payable over five years.
The Herald understands shipments of the vaccines will begin in March and all of them will be delivered this year, with 50 million vaccine doses supplied between April and June.
The vaccines being secured are the same as those being used in Europe and America such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.