Mnangagwa Says Zim Is Ready To Acquire Covid-19 Vaccines
20 December 2020
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State Media

Emmerson Mnangagwa

ZIMBABWE has upped preparations for a nationwide rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine, with the Government having concluded two extensive studies to assess readiness for the deployment of inoculation jabs, President Mnangagwa has said.

Updating the nation on the country’s Covid-19 response and containment measures at State House in Harare yesterday, the President warned against unnecessary travel and large gatherings over the festive period.

The country, said the President, was staring at losing out on the gains made in containing a widespread outbreak of the coronavirus if Zimbabweans continue to disregard Covid-19 containment measures that include enforcement of physical distancing and wearing face coverings.

Zimbabwe has recorded 12 047 cases of the coronavirus since March, with 316 people having died from the contagion.

The country has witnessed a spike in new infections over the past month, with 3 218 new cases having been recorded between November 16 and December 18.

“While a vaccine is the ultimate preventative measure, it is not available to us just yet,” said the President.

“Preparations for the deployment of a vaccine, once approved, are, however, in progress guided by two national preparedness assessments conducted in October and November 2020.

“Zimbabwe will only roll out vaccines that have been analysed and found to be effective and safe for our population.”

He said Zimbabwe was party to the World Health Organisation led Global Access Facility — Covax — which plans to secure and distribute millions of doses of the vaccine to developing countries, once licensed and approved.

The initiative, which seeks to secure at least 220 million doses, will enable the fast and equitable distribution of the vaccine.

Provisionally, the WHO distribution mechanism seeks to proportionally allocate doses until all countries have enough doses to cover 20 percent of their population.

“The WHO, working with other global immunisation partners, has come up with a Covid-19 Global Access Facility (Covax).

“This is designed to accelerate the development and manufacture of safe, effective Covid-19 vaccines in order to guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to vaccines for all countries.

“Zimbabwe is participating in the facility.

“In addition to this, Zimbabwe is also participating in clinical trials and vaccine research to ensure that the country’s decision is guided by local science.”