Zimbabwe has procured 12.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and continues to accelerate the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines in efforts to reach herd immunity.
HARARE, Sept. 30 — Zimbabwe continues to accelerate the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines in efforts to reach herd immunity.
The southern African country is targeting to inoculate at least 60 percent (10 million) of its approximately 14 million citizens to achieve herd immunity by year-end.
By Tuesday, the country had administered a total of 3,060,476 first dose vaccines and 2,229,310 second dose vaccines.
This has made Zimbabwe among the top performers in the sub-region, ranking at number seven on the African continent in terms of administration of COVID-19 vaccines.
The country has also been listed among 13 African countries that have reached the World Health Organization (WHO) target to fully vaccinate more than 10 percent of its population by the end of September 2021.
The government continues to push the public to get vaccinated and has given civil servants up to October 15 to get vaccinated, a failure of which they will not be allowed to report for duty.
Addressing a post-cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Zimbabwe had to date procured 12.3 million doses of the vaccines, the bulk of which were procured through the Treasury.
Zimbabwe’s basket of vaccines is made up of doses mainly from China, in addition to small donations of vaccines from India and Russia.
Out of the 12.3 million vaccines, China has donated 4 batches of Sinopharm vaccine jabs to Zimbabwe so far, as the two countries intensify cooperation in the fight against the pandemic.
The latest donation arrived in Zimbabwe on Sunday.
Zimbabwean Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who received the vaccines on behalf of the government, praised China for its unwavering support in the fight against the pandemic.
“The government of Zimbabwe is grateful for the kind gesture by the leadership and the government of the People’s Republic of China to complement our efforts towards attaining herd immunity,” Chiwenga said.
He said the donations were a testament to the cordial relations between the two countries.
Last week, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said the Zimbabwean government was taking vaccination as its medium to long-term economic strategy.
He said Zimbabwe, which is emerging from the third wave of the pandemic, was utilizing a budget surplus of 100 million U.S. dollars from the previous year to procure the vaccines.
To date, over 127.3 million U.S. dollars had been spent on procurement of vaccines and syringes from various countries, he said.
Zimbabwe is expecting an economic growth rate of 7.8 percent in 2021, after two years of economic recession, buoyed by a successful 2020/21 agricultural season and the vaccination program.
Zimbabwe has to date recorded 130,272 COVID-19 cases, 122,621 recoveries, and 4,615 deaths due to COVID-19. – Xinhua