Zimbabwe is to roll-out its coronavirus vaccination from tomorrow but says this will be voluntary. There are questions about the vaccine that was donated by China but the government said its experts will look at the efficacy and suitability of the vaccine.
Below is what Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the country’s Vice-President said in his ministerial statement to Parliament yesterday.
COVID VACCINE DEPLOYMENT AND ROLL OUT PLAN
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. RTD. GENERAL DR. CHIWENGA): Mr. Speaker Sir, let me brief the House on the COVID Vaccine Deployment and Roll out Plan as we have planned it and implementing it. Mr. Speaker Sir, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the country resulting in 34 949 positive cases and 1 382 deaths as of 11 February 2021. The high numbers of both positive cases and deaths has prompted the country to plan for the introduction of a vaccine.
The country has already secured 200 000 doses of the vaccine from Sinopham from the People’s Republic of China which it has graciously donated to Zimbabwe. This is our first of the vaccines to come into the country which will be administered to priority groups in the country. I want to hasten to add that from now we will be getting the vaccines regularly, maybe every two to three weeks so that the programme of vaccinating our people does not stop. In addition, an operational budget to fund the implementation of planned activities is in place and has been shared with Treasury. The country’s COVID-19 vaccination and deployment plan identifies key areas for successful roll out of the vaccine.
OBJECTIVE OF COVID VACCINATION PLAN
The National Roll-Out, Deployment And Vaccination Plan (DVP) is a guiding document that provides framework for designing strategies for the deployment, implementation and monitoring of the COVID-19 vaccines in the country and ensuring the planned and related financing is well aligned to the Zimbabwe COVID-19 recovery and responses and support plans. That implementation is fully integrated into national governance mechanisms.
- To enable high quality vaccination services and reduce morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19 disease.
- To vaccinate eligible population on a voluntary basis for free.
- Vaccinate a minimum of 60% of the total population to achieve head immunity.
- To initiate vaccination through eligible high risk target populations.
- To provide adequate vaccines and supplies for the activity.
- To ensure availability of functional cold chain equipment at all levels.
- To monitor progress, adverse events following immunisation (AEFIs) and provide corrective action.
- Create demand for immunisation.
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