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Zimbabwe targets herd immunity with US$100 million Covid-19 jabs earmark

by Staff reporter
31 Jan 2021 at 06:58hrs | Views
Zimbabwe has put aside US$100 million for the acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines which will cover 60 percent of its population, the government said Saturday.

With that, the country will be able to achieve the much-needed herd immunity to neutralize the respiratory illness, according to finance secretary George Guvamatanga.

"As soon as the sign is given on which vaccine we need to procure and where we are procuring it from, as Treasury we are ready with funding and with funding structures worth US$100 million to make sure that we procure the vaccine and save the lives of Zimbabweans," the permanent secretary was quoted as saying in the State media.

"There are no standard prices for the vaccines because they are coming from different developers, but we have set aside US$100 million for that. So we are now waiting for the scientists to tell us which vaccine to buy and where to procure it from."

Guvamatanga said the government will purchase 20 million doses of the yet-to-be-identified vaccines for its 14 million citizens.

Zimbabwe is currently in talks with Russia, India, and China over the supply of coronavirus jabs amid a surge in cases and fatalities from the pandemic which has killed 1,193 people and infected 33,273 others, as of Saturday.

The country is also expecting an allocation from the World Health Organization's Covax scheme that will inoculate 20 percent of its population or three million people.

The program was set up by the United Nations (UN) to help out low-income countries.

Zimbabwe has seen a rapid increase in the spread of Covid-19 lately, forcing the government to extend the national lockdown by two weeks to February 15.

Last week alone three government ministers succumbed to the disease in rapid succession alongside several members of the ruling Zanu-PF party.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said recently that Zimbabwe will receive a vaccine "quite soon," adding that frontline workers will be the first to get inoculated.

Source - zimlive