The first consignment of Indian Covaxin Covid-19 vaccines is expected in Harare today, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa scheduled to receive 35 000 doses out of the 75 000 donated by the government of India.
Logistical arrangements are being finalized for the second batch of 40 000.
The Herald reports that the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Air Commodore Dr Jasper Chimedza, said: “We are going to take delivery of 35 000 doses of Covid-19 Covaxin donated by the Indian Government, and will be received by the President.”
He also said the delivery is part of the 75 000 doses they donated and the remaining vaccines will be delivered at a date to be announced.
Like the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines from China already being administered, Covaxin uses inactivated, that is killed viruses to generate the immune response in the recipient.
These dead vaccines are all regarded as totally safe since no living matter or potentially poisonous matter is injected.
The Zimbabwean Government is targeting to immunize at least 60 percent of the population (10 million people) to achieve herd immunity and is relying on vaccines from a number of countries and companies.
India’s Covaxin reportedly has an efficacy rate of 81 percent, its phase 3 trial has reportedly shown.
The arrival of the first consignment of the Indian donation adds to vaccine stocks already received as a gift from China and as part of a commercial order placed with Sinovac in China.
Zimbabwe embarked on its vaccination programme last month and it is among the first African countries to vaccinate its citizens against Covid-19.
Almost 55 000 people have received the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine so far