The Ministry of Health and Child Care Friday announced Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 vaccine deployment and rollout plan.
Ministry of Health and Child Care Press statement on COVID 19 vaccine deployment and roll out plan
Harare, 12 February 2021, fellow Zimbabweans, following the COVID-19 vaccination policy position announced by the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, and Zimbabwe will soon be rolling out a COVID-19 vaccination programme under the National Response Strategy to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines are an essential component for COVID-19 control in addition to all the measures that the country has been implementing.
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.
The vaccination programme begins next week after the country takes delivery of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines from the People’s Republic of China where the government of Zimbabwe has purchased 600 000 on top of the 200 000 Sinopharm vaccine doses which were donated to us by the Government of China. The Sinopharm vaccine which has proved to be safe in clinical trials and has efficacy rates ranging from 76 to 86% and has already been used by other countries in controlling COVID-19.
I also wish to inform you that the government is in advanced negotiations to acquire the Sputnik 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 vaccination
First phase population at high risk
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.
Those with chronic illnesses, the elderly fro 60 years and above, inmates ad prison population and others in confined settlements including refugee camps.
The second Phase
Will cater for lecturers, all schools staff population and other staff at medium risk depending with epidemiological picture of the disease.
The third phase
Will target at relatively low risk until everyone is covered.
Progress in preparing for the roll out of COVID-19 vaccination in Zimbabwe.
Vaccine and logistics.
The first batch of vaccine is expected to arrive in country on the 1, 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.
The distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Zimbabwe will be as follows:
On Arrival from the Airport on the 15 February 2021
1. Central Vaccine stores
2. Provincial vaccine stores
3. District vaccine stores
4. 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.
Demographic data collection
Blood test for antibodies and swab- a sample will be required to determine the potency.
The Ministry has already started training all health workers who will be involved in the vaccination programme and training will be completed soon in time for the planned roll out.
Vaccination Service delivery (Two methods of vaccine)
- Fixed facility
- Mobile outreach points
Actual administration of the vaccine will be done by trained staff at fixed and outreach points that will be at:
- Public hospitals
- Public clinics
- Rural health centres
- Army Hospitals and clinics
- Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) clinics
- Zimbabwe Republic Police Clinics
- Private Hospitals and Clinics
Adverse Events Following (AEAFI) Immunisation
Policies, guidelines and systems for the management of Adverse Events Following (AEFI) Immunisation are already in place and our health workers will be on high alert to identify, report and manage any if they occur. Sensitization of frontline workers has already begun for them to take up the vaccine to protect themselves. May I conclude by encouraging all eligible people in the count,’ to take up the vaccine when their turn comes. I also want our people to note that even when they get the vaccine, they still need to practice all the other recommended COVID 19 prevention behaviours, like the proper wearing of face masks, regular