Zimbabwe could receive its first batch of the Covid-19 vaccine next month, with Government now finalising its national vaccine deployment plan and training of health care workers who will administer the inoculations, it has been established.
According to the state media Zimbabwe is preparing to take delivery of the vaccines procured under a global ground-breaking initiative led by the World Health Organisation, known as Covax, which plans to secure and distribute billions of doses of vaccines to African countries, once licensed and approved.
The initiative has since secured 2 billion doses of the life-saving jabs, which will be distributed equitably to all participating nations beginning end of this month.
Last week, WHO announced that most African countries will start taking delivery of the vaccines between the end of January and mid-February.
WHO’s head of vaccines, Ms Kate O’Brien announced that the first of vaccines will reach African shores within weeks.
Our Harare Bureau has gathered that Government will tomorrow finalise crafting of the country’s vaccine deployment plan ahead of the vaccine’s arrival in Harare.
Health and Child Care Deputy Minister, Dr John Mangwiro said training of health care workers, who will administer the jabs, is nearing completion.
Authorities are using data gathered from two extensive studies, commissioned to assess the country’s readiness for deployment of the vaccination jabs, to prepare for the imminent roll-out.
“We are arranging logistics for deployment and training health care workers in preparation for the roll-out,” said Dr Mangwiro.
“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 vaccines.
“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 vaccines and we are also working in the same direction.”
Frontline health care workers and the elderly who are most vulnerable to the virus will be prioritised when the vaccines are deployed.