The Sunday News
Emmanuel Kafe, Harare Bureau
THE private sector has raised over $230 million to procure Covid-19 vaccines to complement and expedite Government’s national vaccination programme, which has an ambitious target of achieving herd immunity by year-end.
Vaccines for the Private Sector Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, which was launched last week, are being acquired through Government and will be dispensed through Cimas clinics countrywide. Cimas is the programme’s technical partner and health advisor. The company’s board chairperson, Mrs Emma Fundira, told our Harare Bureau that the vaccines will be distributed in accordance with Government’s priority list.
“The private sector initiative was premised on complementing the Government of Zimbabwe’s vaccination programme, and thereby assisting the Government of Zimbabwe with its goal to reach herd immunity and to curb the effects of Covid-19 faster.
To date, over $230 million has been pooled, and more contributions continue to come in. The Government has always been committed and supportive of availing more vaccines to the private sector as they also procure for the nation.
Procurement is done through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, and as such, we are not involved in direct procurement. The private sector initiative is primarily to complement the Government’s vaccination programme in line with their priority list.”
The business community, she said, had begun awareness campaigns to counter vaccine hesitancy.
Zimbabwe plans to immunise 60 percent, or 10 million people, as part of a roadmap to get life back to normal.
Speaking during the launch of the initiative last week, Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro said the programme will quicken the national vaccination programme.
“It will help increase the pace of vaccinations and hopefully remove any doubts that those who have been delaying a decision on vaccination may have had. This should increase the speed with which the Government vaccination programme will be implemented.
Moreover, the Private Sector Covid-19 Vaccination Programme demonstrates the faith that the private sector has in the vaccine, in the face of the myths, misconceptions and misinformation that are making some people hesitant to have the vaccination.”
Funds for procurement of the vaccines were raised through business member organisations (BMO) that include Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe, Insurance Council of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Council for Tourism, and the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce.