More than 120,000 Zimbabweans have taken COVID-19 vaccines, taking heed of the call by the government to accept them as part of efforts to control the pandemic.
Vaccination – which started in the first week of March – has also been decentralized to residential suburbs to ease congestion at the main vaccination centers. As of Monday, 123,454 people had received their first jab while 22,056 had received their second shot, the government-controlled Herald newspaper reported Tuesday.The vaccine uptake was low in the initial stages, which catered mainly to frontline health workers, journalists, and selected security forces and staff at ports of entry.The second stage of the program was launched in late March to include teachers, those in the hospitality industry, the clergy, tobacco merchants, those over 60 years, and people with underlying conditions.
Zimbabwe intends to vaccinate 60 percent of the population (about 10 million people) in a bid to achieve herd immunity and has so far received 400,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine donated by China. It also purchased another 1.2 million doses of Sinovac vaccine from China. India has also stepped in and recently donated 35,000 doses of Covaxin to Zimbabwe. Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said Zimbabwe will be taking about one million vaccines every month.As of Monday, the country had recorded 1,525 deaths from 36,934 COVID-19 cases.