ZimFact has said remarks by George Charamba the presidential spokesperson that Chinese, Russian and Indian COVID-19 vaccines registered for use in Zimbabwe have all been approved by the World Health Organisation and are part of the Covax scheme, are misleading.
In a series of tweets on the country’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, George Charamba – who uses the @Jamwanda2 handle – claimed that all four vaccines which have been registered for use in Zimbabwe had been similarly cleared by the World Health Organisation (WHO). He further claimed that the vaccines were now “part of the Covax menu.”
Below is ZimFact’s conclusion on the matter.
Chinese, Russian and Indian COVID-19 vaccines registered for use in Zimbabwe have all been approved by the World Health Organisation and are part of the Covax scheme.
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Presidential spokesperson George Charamba, via Twitter.
Misleading. Only the two Chinese vaccines – Sinovac and Sinopharm – have received WHO approval. Russia’s Sputnik V and India’s Covaxin, the other vaccines approved by Zimbabwe, are yet to get WHO emergency use listing. Covax has indeed signed a deal to include the two Chinese vaccines in its scheme, but has not done so for Sputnik V and Covaxin.
This is only partly true. According to the latest available WHO information, Sinopharm and Sinovac did receive the global health watchdog’s nod on 7 May 2021 and 1 June 2021, respectively. On 12 July 2021, the Covax scheme, a multilateral facility set up to procure and distribute COVID-19 vaccines equitably to include low-income countries, announced an agreement to procure up to 550 million doses of both Sinopharm and Sinovac between July 2021 and mid-2022.
Neither Sputnik V and India’s Covaxin have been approved for emergency use by the WHO or contracted for purchase by Covax for distribution to participating countries. These two vaccines are at different stages of the WHO evaluation process.
The claim that all COVID-19 vaccines approved by Zimbabwe and currently in use in the country have also been cleared by the WHO and signed up for distribution by Covax is misleading. This is only true for the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines, while Sputnik V and Covaxin still await WHO authorisation and have not been contracted by Covax.