Sifelani Tsiko — Agric, Environment & Innovations Editor
Zimbabwe's largest seed company Seed Co has bought 11 000 Covid-19 vaccines for its workers as part of efforts to support the Government vaccine campaign to rapidly rollout and distribute doses in the country.
Dr Edworks Mhandu, the company's managing director told The Herald on Tuesday that his organisation had procured the vaccines through the National Vaccine Procurement Fund managed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for its workforce, their families and key stakeholders.
"Seed Co has paid for 11 000 Covid-19 vaccines through CIMAS to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. The vaccines are for our staff, their families and key stakeholders that include seed growers.
Half the consignment is donated to the Government," he said.
"Out of the 11 000 vaccines we procured, Seed Co' s share is 10 000 and Quton Seed Company is 1 000. This intervention is timely as health experts point out that people who are vaccinated have a level of protection against the coronavirus."
The company has heeded calls by the Government allowing private sector players to complement programmes in the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Last month, the Government approved a set of guidelines for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines by the private sector.
All COVID-19 approved vaccines are procured through the National Vaccine Procurement Fund managed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
The Fund procures vaccines on behalf of the organisations guided by the national procurement guidelines.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care issues the vaccination certificates to ensure safety, efficacy and appropriate storage of vaccines.
Only trained and registered health professionals are authorised to administer vaccines procured by the private sector.
Zimbabwe has the 3rd highest rate of vaccinations in SADC and eighth highest in Africa as a share of the population.
The country launched its vaccination roll-out in February with the first large batch of jabs targeting frontline health workers and other frontline staff.
Zimbabwe has so far bought 1,2 million doses from China under a US$100 million fund set aside by the Treasury to buy Covid-19 vaccines.
Another 400 000 vaccines have been received as a gift from the Chinese Government while 35 000 came from the Indian government.
So far, 37 859 Covid-19 cases have been recorded since last year with 1 553 deaths.