by STAFF REPORTER
ZIMBABWE is at the weekend set to dispatch an aircraft to China to collect the 200 000 Sinopharm vaccine doses donated by the Asian giant and a further 600 000 purchases by the southern African country in its bid to inoculate 10 million citizens.
Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa yesterday revealed that Russia had donated Sputnik V vaccines to the country and negotiations were under way for the purchase of additional jabs.
She said the aircraft would leave for China on Saturday and return on Monday with the first consignment of the donated doses while those purchased by Treasury will be delivered before the beginning of next month. She said the Chinese vaccine had a 76 to 86% efficacy rate and had been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with some of it used in other countries like Morocco, Brazil, Pakistan, Turkey, among others.
“Meanwhile, Russia has donated some vaccine doses with negotiations ongoing for the procurement of more vaccines,” Mutsvangwa said.
“Zimbabwe is also expecting some vaccines through the African Union vaccination programme, COVAX. The government of Zimbabwe has set aside US$100 million to procure 20 million vaccines, which will vaccinate over 60% of the population and assist us achieve head immunity. Through this facility, we will vaccinate 10 million Zimbabweans.”
Mutsvangwa said the government would continue working with WHO and other partners in the fight against the virus, saying key to the country’s response to the virus was the COVD-19 advisory committee which provides science-based evidence.
Zimbabwe, had by end of business yesterday recorded 1 353 COVID-19-related deaths and over 34 000 infections.
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