Government guards against complacency in Covid-19 fight

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

Hosia Mviringi

Government has elected to remain focused on the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines, despite the slowdown of cases and deaths in the current third wave.

Last week, the country received vaccine consignments from China and Serbia, taking the vaccine tally to above eight million.
Zimbabwe early this year, set aside US$100 million to procure vaccines with a target to inoculate at least 10 million citizens.
To date at least 12 million doses have been paid for and more than 3 million doses injected.

Zimbabwe approved Sputnik-V, Covaxin, Sinopharm, Sinovac and recently Johnson and Johnson for emergency use against Covid-19
So far, the government seems to have its target in sight as already US$93 million out of the US$100 million has been spent on vaccine procurement.

Even though the third wave is showing signs of letting up, the government’s commitment is nowhere closer to slackening.
Last month, while receiving another batch of vaccines at RGM International Airport, Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube highlighted that a successful and timely vaccination program is key to the economy returning to normalcy.

“So for the 12 million vaccines including syringes, we have spent about US$93 million that we have already paid. In addition to that we paid another US$7.5 million for the acquisition of vaccines from the African Union (AU) facility,” he said.

Minister Mthuli Ncube assured the nation that so far indications are that herd immunity will be attained by year-end given the rising demand for vaccines and the apparent commitment by the government to meet this demand through the uninterrupted acquisition of vaccines.

The deadly third wave which reared its ugly head towards the end of June this year, coinciding with the peak of the winter season, had seen the average daily infection and morbidity rate spiking to unprecedented levels, reaching highs of up to 300 deaths per day.

The rate has begun to subside with the end of the winter peak period.

The Africa Centre for Disease Control ranks Zimbabwe highly in Africa at number eight out of 54 countries, while in Southern Africa the country occupies an unassailable first position in terms of vaccine acquisition and rollout.

By the end of July 2021, Zimbabwe had fully inoculated an impressive 4,6 percent of its population.