Some Zimbabwean citizens will have to pay for the Covid-19 vaccine, as Government will only cater for frontline workers and the most vulnerable members of society. Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube also revealed to ZTN that negotiations with suppliers are ongoing.
Recently, Acting Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control, Dr Portia Manangazira, told Parliament that the two course vaccine from China and Russia will cost between $2.50 and US$7 per jab.
“Private citizens will have to pay for the vaccine,” said minister Ncube.
“The vaccine is actually cheaper than some of the personal protective equipment that we are procuring. There will be some payment model so that Government can recoup the cost of procurement.”
He also added that this will also help the Government to raise enough resources to cover the entire population.
“It will be nice to cover everyone beyond the 10 million (targeted under the US$100 million facility), we want to cover the entire population. So really paying something for the vaccine from private citizens is very important so that we can cover those who cannot afford at all.
“But there will be some groups that will be given the vaccine for free. The Health Ministry will clarify all these issues and reveal how different groups within the country will be treated regarding the vaccination,” explained Professor Ncube.
Meanwhile, public health expert, Itai Rusike has recommended that Zimbabwe should prioritise the vulnerable population first in the Covid-19 vaccine distribution.
“We welcome the news that Zimbabwe is in the process of procuring the vaccine. It is important that we prioritise our frontline health workers, the elderly and people with existing health conditions. The rest of the population can then be inoculated later,” said Rusike.
Zimbabwe is among the 13 countries which will receive Covid-19 vaccine aid from the people’s republic of China.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin said, “We are providing vaccine assistance to 13 developing countries namely, Brunei, Nepal, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Pakistan, Belarus, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea.