By Anna Chibamu
CHINESE Ambassador to Zimbabwe Shaochun Guo says his country’s Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19 prevention is safe even for people with underlying conditions.
The ambassador was responding to questions from the media during a virtual press conference organised by the Health Ministry in-conjunction with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The media brief was held after China had donated equipment and sanitary wear worth US$1,2 million to women and girls who were affected by tropical storm, Cyclone Idai two years ago.
However, during the press conference, Guo was asked about the efficacy of Sinopharm on people with underlying conditions such as asthma, diabetes and those living with HIV, and pregnant women.
Zimbabwe took delivery of 200 000 doses of the vaccine last month and inoculation of frontline workers is underway across the country.
“The vaccine is very safe. So far nearly 60 million people around the globe have received the Chinese vaccine,” the ambassador said.
“We have full confidence in the Sinopharm vaccine. We are also impressed by Zimbabwe’s vaccine roll out programme where more than 36 000 people have received the vaccine so far, ” said Guo.
The ambassador highlighted Zimbabwe would this week receive a further 200 000 doses of the same vaccine from China.
“Zimbabwe is expected to receive 200 000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine in mid-March. 600 000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine will be procured by government of Zimbabwe.
To date, over 36 000 selected frontline health workers and security personnel have been inoculated including journalists.
According to Health Ministry official Wenceslas Nyamayaro, “a third of the selected people have been vaccinated. We want more people to be vaccinated.”
However, there has been a low uptake of the vaccine by the frontline workers the World Health Organisation (WHO) is yet to approve the drug.
However, Nyamayaro allayed these fears saying; “These vaccines have been tested in other countries and have been found to be safe to use.”