BY RICHARD MUPONDE
ZIMBABWE has been ranked the 7th best African country in managing COVID-19 vaccination, beating its neighbour South Africa which came a distant 31 on the rankings ladder.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) FT vaccine tracker seen by NewsDay yesterday, Zimbabwe emerged one of the best African countries doing well in the management of COVID-19 vaccination in rankings where Seychelles, also a Sadc country, claimed the top post.
Mauritius is on third position, Eswatini formerly Swaziland on 10th position while Zimbabwe’s neighbours Botswana and South Africa are ranked 14th and 31st, respectively.
Government launched the vaccination programme in February after receiving a donation of 200 000 Sinopharm vaccine doses from China which was aimed at inoculating frontline workers.
The country has so far received a donation of 400 000 Sinopharm vaccine doses from the Chinese government and 35 000 from India and 200 000 doses of Sinovac from the East Asian country. Government has also bought one million Sinovac vaccines from China.
Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association acting president Johannes Marisa yesterday applauded the authorities for moving fast to rescue the situation through acquiring the Chinese vaccines.
“It’s very true that Zimbabwe is ranked as such, actually it’s one of the best in Africa and Sadc. It’s a true reflection of what’s happening in terms of the vaccination programme. Why? If you notice, we are the fast-mover. We actually moved fast on vaccination. Remember, we sent a whole plane to China to collect the first 200 000 vaccine vials yet no other country had undertaken that step,” Marisa said.
He said it was surprising that people were snubbing the vaccination process because they were sceptical about the Chinese vaccines, the Sinopharm and Sinovac which he said had been used in more than 23 countries globally.