Health and Child Care deputy minister John Mangwiro has defended the use of Chinese vaccines against Covid-19, describing them as authentic and scientifically proven medicines.
“The vaccine we are using is a vaccine that we assessed as a country through our scientists, our boards and our scientific councils and found that it is authentic,” Mangwiro told parliament this past week.
He was responding to Nyanga legislator Supa Mandiwanzira who had asked him during the ministers’ question time to clarify how sinovac and the sinopharm vaccines fitted into the matrix of vaccine passports amid reports some European countries and other countries were refusing to recognise those injected with the jabs as having been fully vaccinated against the pandemic.
Said Mangwiro, “The World Health Organisation itself has endorsed these vaccines that we are using locally.
“Other countries also agreed to use the vaccines that they are using after assessment in their own countries.
“In our case, we stand by our vaccination to say it is authentic. When it comes to passports and crossing of borders, the regulations they have, I am sure the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade will be in a position to answer about passports much better, but as far as I know, we are using an authentic vaccine approved by WHO.
“Our own scientific teams looked at these and were satisfied that we are using a vaccination that is authentic.”
Zimbabwe rolled out its mass vaccination drive May this year following the shipment of 200 000 doses donated by China to kick-start the marathon process.
There were concerns by some locals Zimbabwean authorities merely felt obliged to adopt Chinese vaccines on behalf of the population to reciprocate the Asian country’s diplomatic humility towards its troubled ally more than the effectiveness of the drugs.
Zimbabwe has now inoculated more than 40 percent of a targeted 60 percent herd immunity aimed for end of this year.
There are no known reports of any medical mishaps associated with the type of jab so far.