Nyasha Kunyiswa and Davison Kaiyo
Zimbabwe is expected to be one of the first countries to receive COVID-19 vaccine support, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters Monday.
Wenbin said, “China is providing vaccine aid to 13 developing countries Brunel, Philipinnes, Maynmar, Cambodia, Laos, SriLanka, Mongolia, Palestine, Belarus, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwe
“Going forward we will also assist another 38 developing countries with vaccines, we will also take active part in the WHO-Ied COVAX and provide vaccines through this platform to developing countries,
“Second, China supports Chinese Companies in conducting joint vaccine Rand D and production with foreign partners,” said Wang.
Vaccines from two Chinese companies, Sinovac and Sinopharm, are on the market.
Commenting on the issue the Chinese ambassador to Harare Guo Shaochun says Zimbabwe will be one of the first countries to receive the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine in a bid to stop the current pandemic surge.
“Zimbabwe will be one of the first 14 countries to receive vaccine aid from China very soon,” he said.
Chief COVID-19 Coordinator Doctor Agnes Mahomva said Zimbabwe would not pick countries to secure vaccines from, but would access any vaccines that health experts see as the best for the country s vaccination strategy
Over the weekend, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube revealed government has set aside US$100 million to procure the vaccines.
Ncube also said Zimbabwe so far used $25 billion in the fight against COVID19 since the first cases recorded in the country in March 2020
He also added Zimbabwe was negotiating with China, India and Russia for the supply of vaccines
“We have set aside a minimum of US$100 million equivalent for the vaccine and the way we have calculated is we are assuming the cost of US $5 a shot and multiply that by TWO as each person will get TWO shots. We are targeting 10 million citizens which is about the herd immunity and is about 60 percent of the population
“We have adequate resources, mobilized adequate resources in our budget to be able to meet the cost of the vaccine . All options are on the table, we are negotiating with China, lndia and Russia
China has donated half a million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to Pakistan since it is committed to secure the vaccines globally, developed and deployed in China, a global public good.
The global pandemic diseases which has started in November 2019 in China has affected over 75 million people and killed over 2 million people in the world. In Zimbabwe it has affected over 10 000 people and it has killed more than 1000 people.