Zimbabwe applauds China for vaccine contributions


Zimbabwe is set to receive a further 800,000 doses of the Covid-19 jab from China, indicating the "excellent relationship" between the two nations and the Asian giant's willingness to give the southern African state "preferential treatment" amidst a global "stampede" for vaccines, Zimbabwe's presidential spokesman George Charamba is quoted by the state-owned Herald newspaper as saying.

Zimbabwe bought 600,000 of the doses from Chinese firm Sinopharm, while the other 200,000 were a donation, bringing to 400,000 the total donated by the Chinese government, the Herald reported.

The vaccines would be enough for all front line workers, and a large percentage of the elderly and those with chronic health conditions, the report added.

Zimbabwe plans to inoculate about 10 million people.

The vaccination programme was launched last week, with Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga taking the first jab in a bid to boost public confidence.

Meanwhile, the European Union said that Zimbabwe would soon receive 1.152 million doses under Covax, a scheme spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO) to make vaccines more accessible to poorer countries.

India has also announced that it will donate 75,000 doses to Zimbabwe.

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