By Costa Nkomo
CHINESE ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun says he was not sure how many Sinopharm vaccine doses can be administered on a human anatomy for one to be guaranteed of protection from Covid-19.
Shaochun was Tuesday at Robert Mugabe International Airport to help President Mnangagwa receive an additional 200 000 doses of the vaccine from his country.
It is the second consignment of Covid-19 vaccine donations extended to Zimbabwe by China.
Reports in Dubai indicate that some individuals have now taken their third doses of the drug.
Asked to clarify on the number of doses one needs, the Chinese diplomat said, “I’m not very sure. You may need to speak to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health.”
Shaochun also said he was not sure how many doses of the Sinovac vaccine the government of Zimbabwe procured from his country, again directing questions to the Health and Finance ministries.
In total, China has availed 400 000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Health deputy Minister John Mangwiro said each person will require only two doses to get sufficient protection against the deadly virus.
“This vaccine (Sinopharm) in particular one need two doses. So, if one get one dose today, after a month, that is 28 days or so, one must get another. This is the system that we are using,” Mangwiro said.
The deputy minister however said he was also not aware how many doses of Sinovac vaccine that were procured by the Ministry of Finance.
The first batch of procured (sinovac) vaccines arrived in the country Tuesday.
Mangwiro said Covid-19 vaccine doses are being brought into the country in smaller batches because Zimbabwe has not storage infrastructure to take care of the vaccines enroute to their use.
“From this batch, let me check my figures. Ministry of Finance is targeting to buy vaccine worth of US$2 million but will be carried in different batches.
“The most important idea is that we can’t bring 10 million vaccines at once. There will be no storage because these things need to be stored in particular temperatures in certain places.
“So, our infrastructure will not be able to accommodate up to 10 million. This is why vaccines are coming in batches.”