Only Govt To Have Right To Buy Covid-19 Vaccines – Minister

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

THE government has advised companies intending to procure vaccines for their employees that the process will only be facilitated through the state-run National Vaccine Procurement Fund.

The purchases will also be processed only after approval by the Health Ministry of Health.

Zimbabwe started the Covid-19 inoculation last month and it is expected to spread across Zimbabwe as more vaccines are imported into the country.

Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told journalists Tuesday during a post-Cabinet Media brief the government had unveiled the guidelines for the procurement and administration of Covid-19 vaccines by the private sector and only trained and registered health professionals will be authorised to administer vaccines.

“All Covid-19 approved vaccines will be procured through the National Vaccine Procurement Fund managed by the Ministry of Finance,” she said.

“Organisations, individuals and any partners wishing to donate towards vaccine procurement will do so to the President through the Fund. Donations received and pledges made to date will be announced at the next meeting.

“Organisations interested in procuring Covid-19 vaccines for their workforce will deposit their funds into the National Vaccine Procurement Fund after approval by the Ministry of Health. The National Vaccine Procurement Fund will procure on behalf of the organisations guided by the national procurement guidelines.”

Mutsvangwa added; “To ensure safety and efficacy, vaccines shall be kept at the Central Vaccines Stores under the Ministry of Health and the National Cold Chain guidelines shall apply.

“Only trained and registered health professionals shall be authorised to administer vaccines, and only the Ministry of Health shall be responsible for issuing all Covid-19 vaccination certificates. All vaccines administered at private institutions will be transported by Ministry of Health medical staff under guard by the Zimbabwe Republic Police.”

The minister added an emergency use authorisation has been issued by government for the four vaccines by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe, namely; Sinopharm, Sinovac both from China, Covaxin (India) and Sputnik-V (Russia).