Coronavirus: Zimbabwe, Senegal launche vaccination programme with Chinese Vaccine

Coronavirus: Zimbabwe, Senegal launche vaccination programme with Chinese Vaccine

Zimbabwe and Senegal have both received 200,000 doses each of the Sinapharm Vaccine donated by the Chinese government in a bid to roll out vaccination campaigns against the COVID-19 variant.

Zimbabwe has launched its COVID-19 vaccination programme today, February 18, 2021 subsequent to the COVID-19 variant first discovered in neighbouring South Africa that has already made over  60% of cases within its borders. 

 The country’s Vice-President, Constantino Chiwenga was therefore first to receive the Sinapharm vaccine at Harare's Wilkins Hospital.

 Chiwenga said on Tuesday that the vaccination programme, which is free of charge, is targeting at least 10 million people, roughly 60% of the population. To this effect, 60,000 healthcare workers shall be vaccinated in the first round. And will be followed by the elderly and those with chronic illnesses. 

However, Zimbabwe is planning to get another 600,000 doses by March to widen its vaccination campaign.

On his part, President Macky Sall of Senegal is expecting another 6.5 million doses in the coming weeks in addition to the 200,000 doses of Sinapharm vaccines received on Wednesday from the Chinese Company.  

This is because Senegal has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases and several deaths in recent weeks. To date, the country has recorded about 31,771 confirmed cases and over 769 deaths.

Senegal aims to inoculate around 90% of a targeted 3.5 million people, including health workers and high-risk individuals between the ages of 19 and 60 years old, by the end of 2021.

President Macky Sall like Constantino Chiwenga did not wait to receive doses from the World Health Organisation’s, WHO, Covax scheme, which aims to make the vaccine easier for developing nations to buy them. Rather, they paid a huge amount to for the  campaign to kick off this month.

However, health official says, the Sinapharm vaccine is 79% effective, and has shown some success against the variant discovered in South Africa.

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