Free COVID-19 vaccines for Zimbabweans

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Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has dismissed social media reports that Zimbabweans who want the COVID-19 vaccine would pay for it
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga

Davison Kaiyo

The COVID-19 vaccines being sourced by government would be provided for free to all Zimbabweans who want them, Acting President Constantino Chiwenga has said.

In a speech during the World Cancer Day Vice President Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, said the inoculations would be administered voluntarily to all Zimbabweans.

“Let me also reiterate that the government of Zimbabwe will rollout COVID-19 Vaccines for free to all our citizens who may wish to be vaccinated. The policy is inspired by humane morals that Life should not be bought,” he said.

The social media as awash with statements attributed to Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube saying that COVID-19 vaccines will be sold.

However, Ncube also issued a statement clarifying the government position.

“It has come to my attention that my comments about payment for COVID19 vaccines have been taken out of context.

“I would like to make it clear that, the vaccines that the government is procuring with the support of our international partners and friends, will be made available for free to the citizens of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Ncube recently revealed that government had set aside US$100 million for the procurement of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, Chiwenga also revealed that Zimbabwe was set to receive a donation of the vaccines from China.

“We welcome and are very grateful to the People’s Republic of China for their donation of the COVID19 vaccine to Zimbabwe. The landmark gesture will achieve a milestone in combatting the pandemic. Furthermore, the Government of Zimbabwe embarked on a deliberate programme to acquire more COVID19 vaccines,” he said.

The Chinese Embassy recently revealed that Zimbabwe would be one of the 13 countries to receive a vaccine donation.

The embassy has since announced that the donated vaccine was awaiting collection by Zimbabwean authorities.

In a statement on Twitter, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochum said: “Zimbabwe will be one of the first 13 countries to receive vaccine aid from China very soon. We are now waiting for the Ministry of Health and Child Care to facilitate the collection and transportation of the vaccine from China. The vaccine is already there waiting for collection.”

Government last week announced that it was mobilizing 20 million COVID-19 vaccines that would cover at 60 percent of the country’s populations.

It was also revealed that vaccines are being sourced from China, Russia and India.

 

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