Stakes Are High for Zimbabwe in the Scramble for Covid-19 Vaccine

A more aggressive second wave of Covid-19 has put pressure on Zimbabwe's dysfunctional public health system, and further eroded confidence in the ability of the government to safeguard its citizens who are unable to afford private healthcare. Health workers at major public hospitals have been embarking on sporadic strikes since 2020 because of lack of personal protective equipment among other essentials, while the government insists that all is under control. The government is in the process of mobilising the necessary resources to buy Covid-19 vaccines from China but no one knows at what cost. Only a handful of African countries have taken delivery of vaccines, as the continent scrambles to procure supplies for its 1,3 billion people - at a time when many richer nations are racing ahead with mass vaccination campaigns. Meanwhile, Zimbabwean authorities have been accused of using the Covid-19 crisis as a pretext to stifle freedom of expression

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