teleSUR – Zimbabwe’s Medicines Control Authority has so far approved four COVID-19 vaccines, as the second phase of the country’s vaccination program kicks in.
Apart from the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine which is currently in use following the launch of the first phase of the vaccination program two weeks ago, authorities have also approved the use of the Sinovac vaccine (China), Covaxin (India), and Sputnik V (Russia).
With the second phase of the vaccination program having been approved, the government has also urged companies intending to buy vaccines for their employees to procure only those that are registered in the country.
The first phase, which covered those in the frontline, was undertaken following a donation by the Chinese government of 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, while the second phase will target vulnerable groups, among them people with chronic diseases such as cancer, tuberculosis, and diabetes.
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said 34,400 people were vaccinated countrywide in the first two weeks of the rollout program. Following wide-ranging consultations with the private sector, all approved vaccines would be procured through the National Vaccine Procurement Fund managed by the Finance Ministry.
Mutsvangwa said those interested in buying vaccines for their workers would deposit their funds into this fund after approval by the Health Ministry. To ensure safety and efficacy, vaccines shall be kept at the Central Vaccines Stores and the National Cold Chain guidelines shall apply.
As of Friday morning, Zimbabwe had reported 36,377 COVID-19 cases and 1,492 related deaths.