BY VANESSA GONYE
Zimbabwe’s choice of COVID-19 vaccines was guided by several factors, with storage conditions being the most critical, a government official has said.
Speaking at the launch of the private sector vaccination programme, Health deputy minister John Mangwiro said some of the vaccines required storage conditions not attainable in the country.
This, Mangwiro said, led to a choice of vaccines with a -30 degrees limit compared to others that needed temperature storage of around -75 degrees.
“It is important that we try to vaccinate as many people as soon as possible not just for their own good but for the good of the nation as a whole,” he said.
Mangwiro said the country was fortunate to have been spared a huge number of infections and deaths being experienced in some other parts of the world, hence the need to be up to date with measures to curb the pandemic that continues to wreak havoc around the world over a year after it broke out.
He applauded efforts by the private sector to curb the spread of the pandemic since its onset in March last year.
“Praise is particularly due to you for coming together and taking various initiatives of your own accord and committing considerable resources to equipping various facilities to cope with this pandemic. This is appreciated.”
Mangwiro said the current initiative by the private sector was timely as it complemented efforts by the government which is already overwhelmed by the need to avail resources to attain 60% herd immunity.
“With government resources limited and stretched through the demands that this pandemic has put on it, a private sector initiative to meet the cost of some of the vaccines is very welcome,” he said.
“The initiative also further demonstrates the patriotism of private sector organisations that have been working together with the government to combat COVID-19 for the benefit of the nation. It demonstrates what can be achieved when we act together as a nation with unity of purpose.”
“The private sector COVID-19 vaccination programme demonstrates the faith that your organisations have in the vaccine in the face of the myths, misconceptions and misinformation that are making some people hesitant to have the vaccination,” Mangwiro said.