Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa got his first Covid-19 jab in Victoria Falls on Wednesday, and also launched the second stage of the country’s vaccination programme.
Leaders of opposition political parties were also vaccinated in the resort city.
The second vaccination stage targets the clergy, teachers, the Judiciary, security services, people with chronic conditions; 60-year-olds and above.
At the launch, President Mnangagwa said his Government would procure more vaccines.
The Southern African country recently procured 1.2 million doses of vaccines from China.
The first consignment arrived on March 16.
The Zimbabwe Leader said the remainder of the consignment was expected in early April this year.
“Plans are also in place to procure additional vaccines from various sources, including China, Russia and India,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said private companies could purchase vaccines for their employees under laid down procedures.
He said the vaccines must be availed to beneficiaries free of charge.
“Private business entities and organisations interested in procuring the Covid-19 vaccines for their personnel can do so through the national vaccine procurement fund managed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
“However, privately procured vaccine doses must be availed to the final beneficiaries at no cost. No profiteering.”
He encouraged citizens to take up the vaccine and protect themselves from the deadly virus.
He said, “No one is safe until everyone is safe. Getting vaccinated is a personal and a family responsibility as well as a national obligation.”
MDC-T president Douglas Mwonzora said the vaccination programme should not be politicised.
Mwonzora said, “It is irresponsible for anyone to discourage people from getting vaccinated. Covid-19 is a national emergency which should be completely depoliticised. “We have adopted a new philosophy; a new way of doing our politics. We must be guided by what is in the interest of our people”.
As of Tuesday, a total of 44 135 people had been vaccinated under the first phase which targeted frontline workers.
This is over 60 percent of the target.
Zimbabwe has to date recorded 36 717 confirmed cases, including 34 447 recoveries and 1 516 deaths.