India delivers on Covaxin pledge, delivers 35 000 doses

by | Mar 30, 2021 | COVID 19 | 0 comments

Brian Rungano Temba

Zimbabwe today received the first batch of Covaxin Covid-19 vaccine donated by the Government of India in fulfillment of its pledge made in February.

The Indian Government pledged to donate 75 000 doses towards Zimbabwe’s fight against Covid-19 and of the figure, 35 000 doses were delivered.

The doses were received by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who thanked the Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi for the generous donation.

“The response by Republic of India to despatch this consignment of vaccine doses, soon after my Government approved the use of Covaxin in our country, testifies to her genuine desire to promote sustainable access to affordable and effective vaccines,” said President Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe is currently on stage two (phase one) of the National Vaccination programme and this phase is targeting teachers, lecturers, school and university staff, security services, judiciary, clergy, elderly people with chronic conditions and front line workers.

President Mnangagwa said the second phase will be rolled out at a later stage and target the remainder of the eligible population.

“This consignment is a timely and most welcome contribution to our National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme,” added President Mnangagwa.

Ambassador of India to Zimbabwe His Excellency Vijay Khanduja said that the vaccine has proven to be 81 percent effective in the clinical trials and has proven to be effective even against the new strains of the COVID-19 virus.
“We have already used millions of doses in India itself so that should put at rest any doubts of scepticism that may be there about the vaccine,” said Ambassador Khanduja.

Ambasador Khanduja said India has provided over 60 million vaccines to over 75 countries and its pharmaceutical companies have scaled up production to meet the global demand.

India has also stood with Zimbabweans during the early stage of the pandemic last year when they gave the country medicines worth USD $ 1 000 000 and a consignment of rice.

This is again testament of fine bilateral cooperation between Zimbabwe and India.

Covaxin, like the Chinese vaccines Sinopharm and Sinovac, uses inactivated or killed viruses that are introduced into the human body to generate immune response in the recipient.

There has been an increase in vaccine interest over the past few weeks and the additional shots will go a long way in ensuring that more Zimbabweans are covered in the ongoing process.