Zimbabwe receives first batch of COVID19 vaccines
Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa has announced the recipient of its first batch of COVID19 vaccines.
Wrapped in white tarpaulin, the shipment of 200,000 doses, a donation from the Chinese government, arrived early Monday aboard the country’s only working aircraft – an Air Zimbabwe Boeing 767.
“The first batch of vaccines for Zimbabwe has been successfully delivered,” Mnangagwa said in a tweet.
“The faster our country is protected against this virus, the faster Zimbabwe’s economy can flourish.”
The president further stated that the country will start rolling out the vaccine this week.
Zimbabwe is the first country in southern African to receive the Sinopharm jabs, whose efficacy against a new variant that emerged in neighbouring South Africa, is still unclear.
As of Sunday, Zimbabwe had recorded 35,172 cases of the viral infection including 1,400 deaths.
Four of the country’s ministers have so far died of the virus while some are reportedly critically sick and admitted in private hospitals in the country.
The country has since tighten lockdown measures so as to prevent further spread of the vaccine.
Zimbabwe will join the likes of South Africa, Seychelles to hit the ground running in terms of vaccinating their populations against the virus that has infected 109million and killed 2.4million globally.
Meanwhile Nigerian government have several times announced plans on procuring the vaccines without putting a specific date to when it will be rolled out.
Although the African biggest economy has missed out on the first phase of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, as the 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine expected to arrive the country this month has been replaced with 16 million doses of Astrazeneca vaccine.