PRESIDENT Emerson Mnangagwa has emphasized that government was not going to risk the health of the entire population by rolling out vaccines whose safety and efficacy has not been scientifically proven.
By Michael Gwarisa
Speaking in a Televised national address, President Mnangagwa said the country’s national response strategy has now reached a point whereby vaccines should be introduced as a second front preventive measures and only COVID-19 vaccines which have been scientifically ascertained to be safe will soon be be introduced for free and will be state funded.
The National Vaccination Strategy will continue to be guided by the best available scientific evidence and the safety of all Zimbabweans remaining a priority.
“The National Vaccine deployment framework has also been finalised. The initial objective is to inoculate at least 60% of the population to achieve population immunity. The first Phase of the inoculation of the vaccine will see our hard working front line workers, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions being prioritised,” said President Mnangagwa.
He added that even in the presence of a vaccine, infections are likely to spread hence the need for citizens to continue abiding by the World Health Organisation (WHO) set protocols.
“Government has set aside the requisite financial resources for the purchase of the vaccines. In line with our policy of pooling national efforts and resources, government will also partner the cooperate world and other players in the procurement of the vaccine and related consumables.”
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe is amongst the first 14 countries going to receive the vaccine donation from the government of China.
“Allow me to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt and sincere gratitude to President of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency, Xi Jinping, the government and the people of China for their kind donation of 200 000 donation of the Sinopharm vaccine.
“We applaud China for taking a leading role in contributing to our national vaccine deployment strategy and for its consistent humane policy of treating COVID-19 vaccines as global public goods.” he said.