The government has angered ordinary citizens after announcing that priority for the yet to be delivered COVID-19 vaccine will be given to Cabinet Ministers, senior government officials and frontline workers ahead of everyone else.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that the old aged and frontline workers be prioritized during vaccine rollout.
Presenting before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health on a virtual meeting yesterday, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation in the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC), Robert Mudyiradima disclosed that ministers, legislators, government officials, the security sector and frontline workers would be prioritized.
“There is a need for a vaccine to control the spread of COVID-19, and we have to know which vaccine meets our requirements and which one we need. Most of the vaccines have not passed phase three trials. The vaccine might not be enough and there will be a group that will be prioritized such as frontline workers, ministers, MPs and members of the security sector,” he said.
Director of epidemiology in the MoHCC, Portia Manangazira, told the parliamentary committee on health and child care that Zimbabwe would not get all the vaccines, as some of them were not meant for Africa, mostly because they were produced under subsidies.
“On the issue of medicines intended for developing countries, some of them are subsidies, and so it might be one of the reasons behind the labelling. It is not about the quality of the vaccines. We have one of the most stringent regulators, which are the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe which checks the quality of medication, ” she said.
Manangazira said that the vaccine that would be rolled out to the public would be safe and scientifically proven.
“The vaccine manufacturing process is very rigorous and whatever comes will be scientifically proven beyond doubt,” Manangazira said.
The cost of the vaccine is said to be between US$2 to US$9 per dose.
Zimbabwe expects to receive three million doses of the vaccine under the COVAX scheme facilitated by the African Union at a cost of US$20,5 million. They are being supplied by Pfizer-AstraZeneca.