Zimbabwe on Monday took delivery of a consignment of one million Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines donated by China, a move which is expected to boost the country’s vaccination campaign.
The vaccines are also expected to prevent the spread of the omicron covid-19 variant across the country.
The donation follows a pledge made by China at the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to provide another 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to Africa.
The latest consignment takes the donations made to Zimbabwe by China to two million vaccines.
China’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Guo Shaochun handed over the vaccines to Zimbabwe’s Vice President, who is also the health minister, Constantino Chiwenga, at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
Speaking shortly after receiving the donation at the airport, Chiwenga, expressed gratitude for the vaccines, stressing that the donation will help accelerate Zimbabwe’s vaccination campaign.
“Indeed, Zimbabwe is grateful that it is among the first countries to receive COVID-19 vaccine donations from the People’s Republic of China under this new initiative.
“This timely gesture of support and friendship greatly increases our confidence and determination to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and its emerging variants, such as Omicron.
“The support includes the secondment of medical doctors, numerous donations of vaccines and the actual facilitation of several purchases of the much-needed Sinopharm and Sinovac doses, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chiwenga.
Speaking at the same event, Ambassador Guo reaffirmed China’s commitment to helping African countries in the fight against COVID-19 and addressing vaccine inequality.
“The arrival of this consignment demonstrates that China is turning its commitments into visible and tangible outcomes.
“China-Africa cooperation will be further increased and benefit wider populations in Africa.
“China is by far Zimbabwe’s main supplier of COVID-19 vaccines.”
According to daily updates by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, as of 20 December 2021, 4 060 046 people out of a population of about 16 million had received at least one vaccine dose, while 3 074 698 had received both required shots.