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Bulawayo fast running out of Covid-19 vaccines

by Staff reporter
22 Apr 2021 at 20:34hrs | Views
AUTHORITIES have called upon the government and private players to procure more Covid-19 vaccines for Bulawayo where there is a short supply of the jabs.

Addressing members of the Bulawayo Provincial Covid-19 taskforce on Tuesday, Bulawayo Health Services director, Edwin Sibanda, said the province was left with vaccines for only two weeks.

"Approximately, we vaccinate 2 500 to 3 000 people daily hence the 39 000 we have in stock can last us for 10 to 13 days which can hinder the flow of our vaccination programme. We need to restock the vaccines," he said.

Sibanda said there was also shortage of vaccination cards to be distributed to those who would have gotten their jabs.

"Let's say one gets vaccinated in Bulawayo and they need to travel to Harare, they cannot have their second dose in the capital because they won't be having cards.

"This slows down the process because one waits for a long time in order to get a card," he said.

Responding to Sibanda, chairperson of the taskforce, Local Government minister July Moyo said the government would make sure the provinces receive the required doses.

"The government is going to address the supply chain mismatch and the Finance minister has set aside some funds for procurement of more vaccines.

"We are thankful to private players, for example the Chamber of Mines, who are assisting the government in procuring the vaccines.

"We call upon more private players who are willing to complement the government's effort.

"You can either bring cash or nominate a supplier you want the government to get the jabs from.

"However, we want the government to be in the front when it comes to procuring the vaccines so that we get the authentic ones," he said.

Moyo said the government is expecting more vaccines from their partners to supplement those already procured by the Treasury.

"We are expecting over 600 000 SinoPharm from China as well as other vaccines from Russia and India.

"The nation should rest assured that more vaccines are coming because we want the process to flow," he said.

Moyo said once the government procures more doses, a voluntary mass inoculation will be done in Bulawayo and Harare.

Of late, the government has been focusing on border towns like Beitbridge, Nyamapanda and Plumtree to get rid of imported Covid-19 cases.

"There are a lot of flights coming into Harare and Bulawayo and this puts citizens at the risk of imported cases hence we are treating you as border towns.

"Once vaccines come, the government will make sure everybody is voluntarily vaccinated in order to have herd immunity," he said.

Moyo said there is commendable progress in Victoria Falls where President Emmerson Mnangagwa had his first dose.

"The reports we have are saying over 19 000 people in Victoria Falls have been vaccinated which is a very positive number considering that an approximate 23 000 need to be vaccinated there.

"There is high uptake of the vaccine which is commendable," he said.

Source - dailynews

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