President Emmerson Mnangagwa says he will get a Sinopharm jab in two weeks together with Vice President Kembo Mohadi and his entire Cabinet amid fears that the Chinese vaccine is not safe for human use.
Mnangagwa, who was speaking on Thursday at the commissioning of Epping Forest Water Supply Augmentation Project for Bulawayo and groundbreaking ceremony of the Gwayi-Shangani-Bulawayo pipeline project in Nyamandlovu, Matabeleland North, said the Chinese have donated another 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine while his government has purchased 600,000 doses of the same vaccine.
He allayed fears that the Sinopharm vaccine is unsafe, saying Vice President Constantino Chiwenga took the jab a week ago and is still alive.
“Social media was saying the leadership will not be vaccinated, on that particular day, we had various engagements so I called my minister and vice president to get the first jab so that you know that the vaccine is safe. Ivaccine leyi i-right, liyithathe (this vaccine is alright, use it). The vice president of the country had the first jab and he is still here. My Cabinet and myself in two weeks when the next consignment comes, we will be vaccinated.”
He said the government is expected to purchase 1,2 million doses of Sinopharm at a time some companies want to procure vaccines for Zimbabwe.
Mnangagwa said, “There are so many companies that have come forward who want to import the vaccines and sell them, we have said no. If any company buys vaccines, they must be distributed freely. Meanwhile, let us mask up Zimbabwe and continue to adhere to the laid down health protocols.”
The government rolled out the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program a week ago. Indications are that there is a slow uptake of the vaccine among nurses, doctors and other frontline workers.