In January 2021 Government announced that it was working on a Zimbabwe Covid-19 Vaccination Plan.
Appeal For Funding
Mthuli Ncube issued a statement seeking help from Zimbabwe’s corporate sector, citizens and other well-wishers to fund the import of COVID-19 vaccines.
Ncube's appeal for assistance came days after George Guvamatanga told The Sunday Mail that Government had set aside US$100 million for the procurement of around 20 million vaccine doses to immunise 60 per cent of Zimbabwe's population, which would help the country attain herd immunity.
Guvamatanga said Government was only waiting on scientists to advise it on which vaccine to procure. He added that the Government had enough funds to buy the vaccines. He said:
"The Government has set aside US$100 million for the vaccines to procure around 20 million vaccine doses to immunise 60 percent of the population, which will help us attain herd immunity. 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."
China donated 200,000 doses of the two-shot Sinopharm vaccine which will vaccinate 100 000 Zimbabweans. Zimbabwe's Government purchased an additional 600 000 doses set to start arriving on 15 February 2021.
Russia donated an undisclosed amount of its Sputnik V vaccine. Zimbabwe's Government negotiated for the procurement of more doses.
India pledged to provide vaccines and Zimbabwe is expecting some vaccines through the African Union’s Covax facility.
Russian diamond company Alrosa which has a 70 per cent stake in Alrosa Zimbabwe, also pledged to buy vaccines for Zimbabwe.
The types of vaccines that will be available in Zimbabwe are:
- Sputnik V
In an interview with Zimpapers Television Network, Ncube had said only health workers and most vulnerable citizens will get free COVID-19 vaccine jabs, with 'private citizens' paying between $2 and $7.
After being criticized by citizens on social media platforms, Ncube issued a statement backtracking and said that all donated vaccines will be free. Ncube said:
“It has come to my attention that my comments of the payment of the COVID-19 vaccine have been taken out of context. I would like to make it clear that the vaccines that the Government of Zimbabwe is procuring with the support of our international partners and friends, will be made available for free to the citizens of Zimbabwe.”
- Zimbabwe developing COVID-19 vaccination plan, Xinhua Net, Published: January 13, 2021, Retrieved: February 12, 2021
- Columbus Mavhunga, Zimbabwe Appeals for Vaccine Funding Amid Surge in COVID-19 Cases, VOA, Published: February 6, 2021, Retrieved: February 12, 2021
- Debra Matabvu, US$100m war chest for vaccine, The Sunday Mail, Published: January 31, 2021, Retrieved: February 12, 2021
- Gibbs Dube, Mnangagwa Says Zimbabweans Won't Pay for COVID-19 Vaccinations, VOA, Published: February 5, 2021, Retrieved: February 12, 2021
- Lenin Ndebele, 100,000 Zimbabweans will get free Covid vaccination, thanks to China, Times Live, Published: February 4, 2021, Retrieved: February 12, 2021
- Covid-19 vaccination key to normalcy return: President, The Herald, Published: February 12, 2021, Retrieved: February 12, 2021
- Jeffrey Moyo, Zimbabwe: Gov't backtracks on selling COVID-19 vaccine, AA, Published: February 4, 2021, Retrieved: February 12, 2021
- Justin Mahlahla, Free covid-19 vaccine to all citizens, VP Chiwenga, ZBC, Published: February 3, 2021, Retrieved: February 12, 2021