President Emmerson Mnangagwa has thanked the People’s Republic of China for donating 200 000 doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Zimbabwe.
Addressing the nation on Thursday, President Mnangagwa said:
I express heartfelt and sincere gratitude to the President of the People’s Republic of China, HE XI Jinping and people of China for their kind donation of 200 000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine. This kind gesture attests to the fact that China is indeed a true friend of Zimbabwe.
He also said Zimbabwe has set aside funds to procure the COVID-19 vaccine. He said:
Government has set aside the requisite financial resources for the purchase of vaccines. Government will also partner the corporate world and other players in the procurement of Covid19 vaccines and related consumables.
A National Vaccine Deployment Framework has been finalised. The initial objective is to inoculate at least 60 percent of the population. First phase of inoculation will see frontline workers, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions being prioritised.
The development comes as Zimbabwe is mobilising resources to procure the COVID-19 vaccine amid reports that China and Russia have since made offers to the Southern African country.
President Mnangagwa’s remarks echo those of George Guvamatanga, the Finance secretary who said Zimbabwe has mobilised about US$100 million for the purposes of procuring the COVID-19 vaccine.
He added that the treasury is waiting for health experts to identify the vaccine that is “better” compared to all which are being developed globally.