Two weeks after launching its national Covid-19 vaccination rollout, Zimbabwe is ready to implement the next phase of inoculation—with help from the private sector.
Some 34,000 people have already been vaccinated, said Monica Mutsvangwa, the country’s Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister. The next phase will see private companies procure vaccines for their employees, the minister said during a cabinet briefing on Tuesday.
“All companies intending to procure vaccines for their employees must procure only vaccines registered in Zimbabwe with the Medicines Control Authority,” said Mutsvangwa.
Zimbabwe’s Medicines Control Authority has approved four vaccines: the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines manufactured in China, the Sputnik-V from Russia and Covaxin produced in India.
Zimbabwe launched its national vaccine rollout programme with the 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine. The doses were a donation from the Chinese government as the country’s Covid-19 infections increased in December. The first phase of vaccinations targeted frontline workers.
“Progress made in the initial stages of the vaccination programme has prompted cabinet to approve the second phase of the vaccination programme,” said Mutsvangwa.
The second vaccination phase commence “very soon,” said the minister. It will target those with comorbidities and the elderly, populations that are at higher risk of contracting Covid-19.
The Zimbabwean government is yet unveil guidelines for procurement and administration of Covid-19 vaccines by the private sector. Zimbabwe is also a member of COVAX and is set to receive 1,152 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines via this facility too.