By Arnold Fandiso
Government is reportedly finalising the shipment of 75 000 doses of the Covaxin from India to boost the inoculation programme, making Zimbabwe the first African country to authorise the use of the vaccine.
The Indian embassy in Harare announced the development on its official Twitter page yesterday following a meeting between Vice-President and Health and Child Care minister Constantino Chiwenga and Indian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vijay Khanduja.
“Zimbabwe has authorised use of Covaxin, India’s indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the first country in Africa to do so,” the embassy tweeted.
Chiwenga expressed confidence in the vaccine and urged Zimbabweans to embrace the vaccination programme, saying it was the best way to stop the virus from spreading.
“This vaccine we are talking about is not the first vaccine people of my age and many others have received. We have received vaccines against measles, vaccines against polio, and there is nothing wrong with this,” Chiwenga said.
“It is a vaccine meant to save the lives of the particular individual, and also save your family, friends and your neighbour. This is a pandemic, which if it is not controlled, the virus mutates and we will be with it for a long time and we will lose many lives. The best way to stop the spread of this virus is to get vaccinated.”
Zimbabwe has already received 100 000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China, and is expecting many more from India and Russia, among other countries.
The vaccine is administered free of charge and on voluntary basis. NewsDay