Zimbabwe has purchased 12 million coronavirus vaccines using its 2020 budget surplus, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said.
He said this when he received the latest batch of one million vaccines and said another 1.5 million will arrive in the country this week.
“We have about 5.5 million vaccines that we have received so far,” Ncube said. “Going forward we have paid for another 6.5 million vaccines which would then take us to 12 million vaccines. They are all fully paid for.
“So, for the 12 million vaccines including syringes, we have spent about US$93 million that we have already paid. In addition to that we paid another US$7.5 million for the acquisition of vaccines from the AU facility.
“We are still going to receive another 1.15 million vaccines from the Covax facility, the AU facility for which we had already paid for that is going to give us another five million.
“The resources we have used so far, the US$100 million we have set aside, is coming from the 2020 surplus. So, you can see that we are making use of the surplus to meet the requirements for vaccine acquisition,” he said.
Zimbabwe has so far dispensed 2.1 million doses with 1 447 342 people getting one dose and 680 060 the required two doses by yesterday.
The country had reported 97 894 cases, 3 094 deaths, 65 915 recoveries by yesterday. It had 28 887 active cases.
Zimbabwe is aiming to vaccinate 10 million people by the end of this year to reach herd immunity.
Commenting soon after receiving the latest batch of vaccines, Deputy Health Minister John Mangwiro said it was critical that Zimbabwe vaccinates at least 60% of the population to attain herd immunity.
“If your community is not vaccinated it becomes dangerous for that community,” he said.