The Minister of lnformation, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa says the Covid 19 vaccination programme using the Sinopharm vaccine from China commences on the 18th of February .
Addressing a press briefing on Tuesday, Minister Mutsvangwa stated that government intends to vaccinate about 60% of the population by following the existing distribution structure for routine vaccines and supplies.
“The vaccination programme commences on 18 February 2021 ,on a voluntary basis and will be free ,the aim of Phase 1 is to vaccinate 22 percent , 18,4 percent under Phase 2 ; 18,4 percent under Phase 3 , thereby yielding a vaccination programme of nearly 60 percent of the population.”
Minister Mutsvangwa also highlighted that safety measures have also been put in place .
” A committee is implementing vaccine vigilance plans to monitor the safety and effectiveness of the Covid 19 vaccines. The vaccine consignments are physically verified for the implementation of safety measures.”
The national vaccination programme against Covid19 will cost US$ 6.7 million.
Meanwhile cabinet has announced that the dreaded South Africa Covid_19 strain has now dominated infections being detected in the country.
” Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that results of genomic sequencing recently conducted indicate that the type of Covid_19 virus that the nation had in 2020 has receded and there was now 61 % dominance of the new South African Variant of Covid_19virus which spreads faster and has a higher fatality rate.”
Mutsvangwa added that the nation now needs to be more vigilant than before and adhere to Covid_19 prevention and control measures.