HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe has authorised the emergency use of four COVID-19 vaccines, including Russia’s Sputnik V and China’s Sinovac, the minister of information said on Tuesday.
The southern African nation last month rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination programme after receiving a donation of 200,000 doses of shots from China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).
Last week, India announced that Zimbabwe had become the first African country to authorise the use of its Covaxin vaccine.
The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe has authorised the use of Sinopharm and Sinovac shots from China, Russia’s Sputnik V and India’s Covaxin, the information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said in a post-Cabinet briefing.
“All COVID-19 approved vaccines will be procured through the National Vaccine Procurement Fund managed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development,” Mutsvangwa said.
She said private businesses wishing to import their own vaccines for employees should purchase only registered vaccines.
Zimbabwe has said it plans to vaccinate more than 9 million people and is waiting for delivery of 600,000 Sinopharm doses that it purchased from China.
More than 35,000 people have been vaccinated in Zimbabwe, where 36,321 coronavirus infections and 1,489 deaths have been recorded in its population of about 15 million.
(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; editing by Grant McCool)