ZIMBABWE will on Monday, February 15, 2021 receive a donation of the Sinopharm Vaccine from the Republic of China which is set to be distributed immediately after arrival according to a top government official.
By Michael Gwarisa
Zimbabwe has purchased 600 000 on top of the 200 000 Sinopharm vaccine doses which were donated by the Government of China. The Sinopharm vaccine has efficacy rates ranging from 76 to 86% and has already been used by other countries in controlling COVID-19.
Speaking during a televised briefing on the COVID-19 Vaccine deployment and rollout plan, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr John Mangwiro said all was set for the vaccine deployment around the country’s 10 provinces.
The first batch of vaccine is expected to arrive in country on the 15th Of February 2021 from China and the vaccines will immediately be distributed to all provinces and districts across the country. May I assure you that we have adequate cold chain equipment to maintain the vaccines in their potent state up to the point of use.
“The role of the supply chain is to ensure effective vaccine storage, handling, and stock management; rigorous temperature control in the cold chain; and maintenance of adequate logistics management information systems,” said Dr Magwiro.
He added that soon after arrival from the Airport on the 15 February 2021, the vaccines will go straight to the Central Vaccine stores, then to the Provincial vaccine stores before leaving for District vaccine stores and Clinic vaccine stores.
“Vaccination distribution flows from the central vaccine stores to 10 Provincial vaccine stores and 63 Districts vaccines stores; and then to more than 1,800 service delivery health facilities such as clinics and rural health centres. The distribution of COVID-19 will follow the existing distribution structure of routine vaccines and supplies.”
He also said government was in advanced negotiations to acquire the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia which is also effective against COVID 19.
In addition the country is also pursuing global and regional facilities to secure more vaccines to cover all eligible people.
“The vaccination programme in Zimbabwe will be conducted in a phased manner as follows: Target groups for vaccinations will see the First phase targeting population at high risk while stage Stage 1 will target frontline workers at significantly high risk of COVID-19. These include health workers, Ports of Entry Personnel ZIMRA, Immigration, Customs, funeral parlour, security personnel, Village Health Workers.
“Stage II will see those with chronic illnesses, the elderly from 60 years and above, inmates and prison population and others in confined settlements including Refugee camps getting vaccinated. The second phase Will cater for lecturers all schools staff population and other staff at medium risk depending with epidemiological picture of the disease,” he said.
The third phase Will target those at relatively low risk until everyone is covered. To date the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the country significantly resulting in a total of 34 949 confirmed positive cases and 1382 deaths.
“The Government of Zimbabwe is now introducing COVID-19 vaccination in order to reduce mortality and morbidity due to COVID-19 disease. In line with this objective the country intends to vaccinate all eligible populations on a voluntary basis free of charge as we have already alluded to in previous announcements.”