Treasury Mobilises US$100m For Covid-19 Vaccines – Guvamatanga

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei and Anna Chibamu

FINANCE Ministry secretary, George Guvamatanga, Saturday claimed his ministry had mobilised US$100 million for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccine doses to inoculate 60% of the population.

This comes after the Treasury had ignored to cater for Covid-19 vaccines in the 2021 National Budget.

Guvamatanga said the US$100 million had been sourced from various unnamed structures.

“We have managed to procure through various structures up to US$100 million. The US$100 million will allow us to inoculate about 60% of our population,” he said.

“As Treasury, we are ready with the funding to make sure that we procure the vaccine and save the lives of Zimbabweans.”

However, the government is still consulting health experts to find which drug is suitable for the local population.

Zimbabwe is, however, part of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) COVAX scheme which will be rolled out in February.

The WHO programme will deliver COVAX shots to poor and lower-income countries.

Russia and China have also made offers to supply Zimbabwe with vaccines after the country experienced a surge in new infections and deaths at the start of the New Year.

The information ministry secretary, Nick Mangwana, said government funds were enough to supply vaccinations for 60% of the national population and reach herd immunity. This translates to about 10 million people.

“Treasury has managed to mobilise about US$100 million for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines. This is enough to inoculate more than 60% of the population. We are just waiting for what the experts have advised on which is the best vaccine for us and our circumstances,” said Mangwana .

Children under the age of 10 years are excluded from receiving the vaccination shots.

On Friday, Zimbabwe had recorded 32 952 cumulative Covid-19 confirmed cases, including 1 178 deaths since March 2020 when the first cases were recorded.