Zimbabwe on Tuesday morning took delivery of the second batch of the Chinese-made Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine.
The first batch of the Sinopharm vaccine arrived in Zimbabwe in February and the vaccination of the frontline workers is already underway.
Air Zimbabwe arrived this morning reportedly carrying 200 000 shots donated by China and 133 000 shots that Zimbabwe purchased plus an unquantified number of doses for Namibia.
The airline was also carrying one million medical consumables destined for Zimbabwe.
Speaking shortly after the arrival of the vaccine, the Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe, Guo Shaochun, expressed his country’s commitment to fighting COVID-19.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is present at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International airport is leading the Zimbabwean delegation that is officially receiving the vaccine.
In his speech of acceptance of the vaccine, President Emmerson Mnangagwa thanked China and its president Xi Jinping for helping Zimbabwe in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
He said the vaccination intervention by China will greatly contribute to Zimbabwe’s efforts to achieve herd immunity.
The president also said the fact that Zimbabwe is the first African country to have received the second batch of the Sinopharm vaccine from China exhibits the strength of the Zim-Sino relationship that traces back to the pre-independence era.
He also stated that the package destined for Namibia will be delivered free of charge.
His deputy, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who spoke at the event also expressed his gratitude to the Chinese party for its generosity during Zimbabwe’s trying times including during the armed struggle and now when the Southern African country is grappling with COVID-19.
He said Zimbabwe expects to procure two million of the Sinopharm vaccine adding that the second batch was part of the two million vaccines.