Govt Takes Delivery Of A Further 500 000 Sinopharm Vaccines
22 June 2021
Spread the love

THE National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme will receive a major boost this week when the country takes delivery of a new batch of 500 000 vaccine doses procured by the Government from Chinese pharmaceutical giant, Sinopharm.

Increased demand for vaccines, since the onset of the winter season, has caused vaccine stock-outs at some immunisation centres, threatening to derail the programme, which was being touted as the most effective on mainland southern Africa.

The sporadic vaccine shortages have coincided with an upsurge in new Covid-19 cases countrywide, forcing authorities to reintroduce stricter national and localised lockdowns in districts with high infection rates.

Zimbabwe moved into a Level Four National Lockdown last week, which includes a reduction in working hours and a blanket ban on social and sporting gatherings among other restrictions.

Nearly half a dozen administrative districts including Kariba, Karoi, Kwekwe and Makonde have been placed under stringent localised lockdowns after reporting surges in new infections.

A significant proportion of the new batch of vaccines will immediately be deployed to these districts where infections are rising.

The incoming consignment is expected to inject impetus into the vaccination programme, and hasten the country’s attainment of national head immunity.

Deputy Minister for Health and Child Care, Dr John Mangwiro told The Sunday Mail that distribution priority will be given to centres where appetite for inoculation is high.

“Next week (this week) we are receiving another batch of vaccines. I cannot confirm the amount now, but we will soon make that public,” said Dr Mangwiro.

“We always use our statistics to guide the distribution process. We will be targeting the hotspots areas like Kariba, Kwekwe and Hurungwe which are currently on lockdown.

“The Government is also redistributing vaccines to cater for areas that have been left behind.

“We understand that there are some centres that have not used all the vaccines they received so we are redistributing those to areas that have shortages.”

Chief co-ordinator for the National Response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Dr Agnes Mahomva said: “We purchased these vaccines and we are expecting them anytime this month.”

Speaking recently during a post-Cabinet media briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said:

“Regarding vaccine procurement, the public is informed that delivery of the 500 000 Sinopharm vaccine doses which were ordered from China is expected in June 2021.”