Zimbabwe has started training health care workers and arranging other logistics for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available under the Covax group.
On Thursday, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) head of vaccines, Kate O’Brien, announced that most African countries will start taking delivery of the vaccine procured under Covax between the end of January and mid-February.
According to WHO, Covax is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.
Once the vaccine becomes available in Zimbabwe, frontline healthcare workers and the elderly, who are most vulnerable to the virus, will be prioritised. Health and Child Care Deputy Minister John Mangwiro had this to say:
We are arranging logistics for deployment and training healthcare workers in preparation for the rollout.
We have set up a logistics committee that is working on that. In terms of timelines for distribution, we will only have a concrete answer next week (this week).
We are working with speed to ensure that we are ready when we start receiving the vaccine.
However, we are still working on a logistics plan that will include the distribution timelines.
As you can see, a lot of countries are now working on getting the vaccine and we are also doing the same.
Covax aims to secure dosages for 20 per cent of the population in each participating country by the end of the year and Zimbabwe could potentially get up to 3.2 million doses under the first phase for its estimated 16 million people.