The government has turned down a donation of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which was set to be delivered in August, stating that the country does not have storage facilities required for the doses.
While government added that experts were still assessing the side effects of the Johnson and Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine.
In a letter to the African Export-Import Bank on 2 June 2021 by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, George Guvamatanga states that government is not ready to receive the vaccines.
“The Government of Zimbabwe notes that there is an allocation of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines due for August 2021.”
“However, I wish to advise that the Government of Zimbabwe is not yet ready to participate in the August allocation as measures are still being put in place to establish the old chain management framework for the vaccines, as well as on the management of the anticipated adverse effects of the vaccines following inoculation, “ reads the letter.
The rejection for covid19 vaccine donations comes amid shortages.
Several vaccination centers throughout the country are reported experiencing a shortage of the jabs, of either the Chinese Sinopharm, Sinovac, or the Indian Covaxin vaccines.
Guvamatanga added that we will advise of our readiness to receive the vaccines once our internal processes have been concluded, hopefully in time for the next allocation.
Johnson and Johnson’s vaccines were acquired through a Covid-19 vaccine procurement Agreement on March 28, 2021, by all African Union (AU) member states, through the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT).
AVAT was set up last year in November under the AU chairmanship of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, to access 220 million Johnson and Johnson doses.
Meanwhile, the government announced the delivery of the 500 000 Sinopharm vaccine doses which were ordered from China is expected in June 2021.
Zimbabwe in February received its first batch of 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine donated by the Chinese government while targeting to vaccinate 10 million people and achieve head immunity.