By Matabeleland North Correspondent
MATABELELAND North, the first province to record a Covid-19 case in the entire country, has received its first batch of the newly developed Chinese Sinopharm vaccine with distribution to all seven districts expected to have been completed late Saturday.
Provincial Medical Director Dr Munekayi Padingani said the largely rural province received about 9 000 doses with the inaugural vaccination process set to target frontline workers in the health sector, immigration, Zimra and security.
The vaccines, which are part of the 200 000 received from China, were delivered to the province on Friday with Bubi and Nkayi districts getting their allocations on the same day.
The other districts were given Saturday although some parts like Tsholotsho and Binga had by end of day yet to receive their allocations because of rains and poor roads.
“We have received close to 9 000 vaccines and started distributing. The vaccine is for front liners and we are working hard to make sure they reach every district, so we start on Monday,” said Dr Padingani.
The province is yet to release a schedule of vaccination.
As at Friday, Matabeleland North had a cumulative total of 1 205 cases including 1 021 recoveries and 14 deaths.
There are 170 active cases in the province which was the first to report a case in Victoria Falls in March last year.
Apart from the 200 000 vaccines currently being rolled out, Zimbabwe is expecting delivery of 600 000 more from China and Russia.
Some locals have been sceptical about the vaccine which government has however defended as safe.