Bt Health Reporter
ZIMBABWE took delivery of the 35 000 doses of Covaxin drug which is ranked among the top Covid-19 vaccines with an efficacy rate of 81 percent.
Manufactured by the Indian Pharmaceutical company, Bharat Biotech, the Covaxin drug stands a better chance against the Covid-19 variants, according to Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe His Excellency Vijay Khanduja.
“This drug has been used in India and has an efficacy rate of 81%. The good thing about this drug is that it works against the new variants,” he said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa thanked the government of India for the gesture saying the donation has arrived at a time when the country has started the second phase of the National Vaccination Programme.
“On behalf of myself, government and the people of Zimbabwe, I expressed my profound gratitude to His Excellency Prime minister of India Narendra Modi and government India on the donation of 75000 doses of Covaxin of which 35 000 does have arrived today. This is a genuine gift and a welcome gesture from India in the midst of an unprecedented time of covid-19 pandemic.
“The donation comes at a time when the government recently approved the use of Covaxin in our country, this testifies to a genuine desire to promote sustainable accessibility of covid-19 vaccine.
“My government has put in place a number of measures to curb the spread of COVID 19 as we target to vaccinate 60 percent of the country’s population.
“Last week, our country began phase two of the National Vaccination Programme which focuses on teachers, clergy, elderly, prominent people among others,” he said.
President Mnangagwa also hailed the existing excellent bilateral relations between the two countries which have expanded into energy, mining and pharmaceutical.
Vice President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care says the country will continue procuring more vaccines in order to achieve herd immunity.
“Let me also take this opportunity to encourage Zimbabweans from across the political divide to be vaccinated. Covid-19 is neither a political nor a class issue,” he said.
So far, 68 511 people have been vaccinated as the vaccination uptake goes a gear up.
The country has now recorded 36 thousand 822 Covid-19 cases, 1 thousand 520 deaths, while recoveries stand at 34 thousand 603.