Senior Zanu-PF members will undergo public Sinopharm vaccination in an effort to boost public confidence in the highly controversial vaccine.
Sinopharm has received widespread condemnation as it has not been passed by the World Health Organisation after its mandatory third clinical trial.
Zimbabwe received 200 000 doses of the vaccine as a donation from the Chinese government which has been administered to frontline workers.
Responding to 263Chat during a post politburo meeting in Harare yesterday, Zanu-PF secretary for Health Dr David Parirenyatwa said some party officials will be vaccinated with the vaccine to get public buy-in as the fight against COVID-19 continues.
“That 9Sinopharm vaccination) is in the pipeline and was deliberated upon so that it is not only a demonstration of our support but to also say to other people that it is indeed safe. There is a lot of infodemic about the vaccine. There was a wrong report warning people that the Sinopharm vaccine was killing people and it was giving false information,” Parirenyatwa said.
“The party will make sure that those who qualify to be vaccinated do so both in public and private so that the public can see that there is no harm in taking the vaccine. We are not open to any vaccine, the policy is that we have the Medicine Control of Zimbabwe which is under the Ministry of Health and Child care that any vaccine that comes must be properly validated before it is put to the population of Zimbabwe,” he further stated.
To date, 27 970 people have been vaccinated with the vaccine according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health and Childcare.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga was the first to be vaccinated publicly as the government tried to get public buy-in to get inoculated.
Dr Parirenyatwa said more vaccines should be on their way into the country which will see more people getting the jabs.
“We want to ensure that further vaccines come into the country soonest and the priority groups will be attended to and there is no doubt that if we vaccinate as many people as possible, we will save our lives.
“The country is being urged to embrace the vaccine, to have a higher uptake of the vaccine as quickly as possible so that we can survive Covid-19 and go back to work, go back to normalcy. In fact, the vaccine is a soft landing to dealing with Covid-19, but we should also add social distancing, wearing of masks and the issue of sanitizing,” Dr Parirenyatwa further stated.
Zimbabwe’s government plans to immunize 60 per cent of the country’s estimated 14 million people, in hopes of achieving herd immunity.
The country is also negotiating with Russia over the procurement of its Sputnik vaccines and is expecting more doses from India and COVAX.
Zimbabwe has recorded 36 179 confirmed cases, including 33 392 recoveries and 1 478 deaths since March 2020.