By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
The Zimbabwean government on Tuesday took delivery of the second batch of the Chinese made SinoPharm Covid-19 vaccine, becoming the first African country to receive a second batch.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his deputy Constantino Chiwenga who doubles as Health Minister and Local Government Minister July Moyo were on hand to receive the vaccines at Robert Mugabe International Airport.
Mnangagwa expressed gratitude to the People’s Republic of China for the support during the rollout of the vaccines.
“We are making steady progress in the fight against the pandemic. In the ongoing national Covid-19 rollout, we remain thankful to China for the support of this programme.
“My administration is confident that this vaccination intervention will greatly contribute to our country’s realisation of head-immunity.
“The national Covid-19 vaccination programme, will further guarantee a Zimbabwe that continues on its course to achieve our dedicated vision 2030.
“We are determined to emerge out of this pandemic with greater capability to play a more productive role towards peace, harmony and prosperity within the committee of nations.
“The fact that we are the only country in Africa which has to date received the second batch of the vaccine doses from China attests to the strong comprehensive and strategic nature of our partnership. We look forward to broadening and deepening our relations in the post Covid-19 era,” he said.
The first batch was received with scepticism from a majority of citizens who had been victims of misinformation but the uptake has increased at a time Europe is rejecting AstraZeneca and coercing Russia to supply them.
Yesterday, Germany, France and Italy vowed to suspend AstraZeneca Covid-19 shots after several European countries reported possible serious side-effects, but the World Health Organization (WHO) said there was no proven link and people should not panic.