Another 1 million vaccine doses arrive

by | Jul 25, 2021 | COVID 19 | 0 comments

Hosia Mviringi

Zimbabwe has taken delivery of yet another critical consignment of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine, as the country consolidates its position as a flagship vaccination country on the African continent.

True to its word, government last week announced that the vaccines will be landing at the RGM International Airport today, July 25, 2020, adding to a two million strong Covid-19 vaccine war chest already administered.

At 2 million vaccine doses administered so far, Zimbabwe, at 6.9 per cent vaccination rate for its population, is ahead of the African average of only 2 percent vaccination.

Zimbabwe’s remarkable vaccination rollout performance is credited to a focused approach by the country’s leadership which refused to take a gamble with unreliable suppliers of vaccines in Europe and America, most of whose vaccines stumbled and failed the test many times.

Many African countries are currently reeling at the mercy of the Covax facility which has failed to deliver on the promise of cheaper vaccines.

Botswana is one such country which has been betrayed by Covax to the extent that the country is now unable to meet the demand for the second dose vaccines as their population desperately waits for vaccines.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube on June 26, 2021, assured the nation that government was committed to making sure that the country does not run short of vaccines, while emphasising that the country is pressing ahead with efforts to achieve head immunity for it’s population.

“We are receiving 2 million vaccines by end of next week, and after that we will order 1.5 million vaccines, and in the month of August will order another 3.5 million vaccines,” Minister Ncube said then.
“So you can see we are very focused in terms of our vaccine acquisition agenda. We will not have a shortage at all. We are headed for herd immunity and we will get there,” added Minister Ncube.

Zimbabwe approved and authorised the use of two Chinese vaccines Sinopharm and Sinovac, Sputnik from Russia, and Covaxin from India, which suppliers have not disappointed to date.
Zimbabwe received assurances from the Chinese government of an unlimited supply of vaccines as and when Zimbabwe needs them.

The Chinese vaccines have proved beyond any doubt that they are both safe for use and reasonably efficacious.
Since Zimbabwe adopted use of these two vaccines, no major side effects have been reported.

The advent of the deadly third wave of the epidemic, driven by the lethal Delta variant, has cajoled Zimbabweans into a stampede for vaccines leading to a spike in the number of daily vaccinations.
So far an average of 60,000 people are receiving the jab daily against a government target of 100,000.
Government and independent analysts are optimistic that this target is achievable given the fact that the population is moving out of the phase of doubt and pessimism to embrace vaccination.

Today’s vaccine shipment to Zimbabwe, a country of 14 million people, brings the total number of vaccines procured so far to a remarkable 5.2 million doses.
To ramp up the vaccination program, government has authorised private medical practitioners, clinics and hospitals to administer the vaccines to those that can afford a nominal administration fee.

“The Covid-19 vaccination remains free in public institutions…however, the private sector is allowed to charge a nominal administration fee of injection by doctor using Association of Healthcare Funders of Zimbabwe (AHFOZ) claim number 90070 – $434.35, and injection by a nurse 90072- $220.64,” said Secretary for Health Dr Jasper Chimedza.
Ps Chimedza adding that vaccines, syringes, registers, and vaccination cards would be accessed through Provincial Medical Directors and City Health Directors.
“The recruitment of private sector players into this programme is subject to the participants not charging for the vaccines, daily reporting of statistics to the next level through PMD sand CHDs and reporting of adverse events following immunisation if any,” he further said.