Zimbabwe has received 943,200 COVID-19 vaccine doses from the global COVAX Facility to complement ongoing national vaccine deployment.
The vaccines have been received in tranches where the first batch arrived on 29th September and the second batch today, 01 October 2021.
In a handover ceremony held this afternoon, Dr John Mangwiro, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care said, "We are grateful to all partners for their support in facilitating the arrival of the vaccines in our country."
The COVAX Facility is a global partnership comprised of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and WHO, established to facilitate equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries.
The COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility are made possible thanks to the generous contributions from over 20 countries. The top seven countries that made donations to the COVAX Facility are: United States of America, Germany, United Kingdom, European Union, Sweden, Canada, and Saudi Arabia.
"We are delighted to see the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines in Zimbabwe through the COVAX Facility" said UN Resident Coordinator Maria Ribeiro. "This is an important and tangible act of solidarity from the international community and will bolster the admirable national COVID-19 vaccination rollout by Government of Zimbabwe."
To date, Zimbabwe has procured over 12 million doses and accompanying injection safety materials using its own local resources.
As of 27 September 2021, a total of 3,051,371 eligible people in Zimbabwe had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 2,211,880 their second across the country. This translates to a national coverage of 35.7% for the first dose and 25.8% for the second dose.
Zimbabwe launched its COVID-19 vaccination campaign on 22nd February 2021, targeting health workers and essential services providers. With availability of more doses, the vaccination was opened to everyone and is provided on a voluntary basis and free of charge.
While COVID-19 vaccination will allow countries to open their economic activities, continued adherence to preventive measures to avoid the spread of the virus by wearing face masks, washing hands and respecting social distancing remain critical.
The United Nations will continue working with the Government of Zimbabwe in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring continued provision of essential services including routine immunizations.