Government said it has finalised a national vaccine deployment framework with the initial objective of immunising at least 60 percent of the population but has warned the citizens to continue adhering to the COVID-19 regulations as the medicines are not adequate protection against the deadly disease.
Speaking in a televised address, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the first to get vaccinated will be frontline workers, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.
President Mnangagwa cautioned the public to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations despite a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases in recent days.
“Government is aware that vaccines do not provide hundred percent protection or impart immunity. With this in mind, the present World Health Organisation public health protocols remain critical in the second phase, and must continue to be adhered to at all times, even after vaccines have been administered,” said President Mnangagwa.
He added: “Government has set aside the requisite financial resources for the purchase of vaccines. In line with our policy of pooling national effort and resources, Government will also partner the corporate world and other players in the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and related consumables.”
President Mnangagwa applauded efforts by the Chinese Government, who donated 200 000 doses, for taking a leading role in contributing to our national vaccine deployment strategy and for its consistent humane policy of treating COVID-19 vaccines as global public goods.
“Allow me to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt and sincere gratitude to the President of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency, Xi Jinping, the Government and people of China for their kind donation of 200 000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine.”
President Mnangagwa indicated that over and above this support, the partnership under the African Union – Global Fund COVAX Facility and other bilateral arrangements will see our country secure sufficient vaccines.
The President expressed indebtedness to all our frontline staff in the fight against the pandemic, despite calls from the health sector to address the shortages of personal protective equipment and harsh working environment.
“I would like to express our Nation’s deep indebtedness to all our frontline staff in the fight against the pandemic. Their continued exemplary dedication sacrifice and commitment to duty is commendable.”
He added: “We have stood together in the midst of many challenges from the economy, to droughts, cyclones and now this pandemic. Our experiences have toughened us and should indeed embolden us for the tasks that are ahead towards building a prosperous nation. Let our spirits not be dampened or deterred by sideshows.”
The President added that through the rapid implementation of the National Development Strategy 1, and buoyant agriculture and mining sectors the nation remain positive about the prospects of notable economic growth in 2021.
“To date, our flourishing progress has seen stability of the foreign exchange rate and prices of our goods and services. As a responsible and patriotic people, I urge all of us, across all economic spectrums, to persistently play our part in maintaining this stability, for a better quality of life for all.”