Chinese medical doctors are in Zimbabwe to help local personnel to effectively administer the Covid-19 vaccine brought from the Asian country yesterday as the two Republics continue to exploit the good bilateral ties in fighting the pandemic.
President Xi Jinping’s administration said China remained committed to helping Zimbabwe fight the virus which is threatening populations and health services across the world.
Speaking during a televised Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN) programme yesterday, China’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Guo Shaochun said they were inundated with requests for their vaccines the world over, but prioritised Zimbabwe.
He clarified the issuance of the vaccine to the Chinese community living in Zimbabwe saying those who needed the jabs would have to pay the Zimbabwean authorities to be vaccinated.
“We have a Chinese medical team here. We have 11 doctors working at Parirenyatwa Hospital. They are experts in different areas. I think they can give very good training to the local staff.
“Many countries, including China, have started the vaccination programme. Any drug may have side effects.
“So far, a large number of vaccinations have been carried out in many countries, but no reports of serious adverse reactions have been received.
“We will not only ensure the accessibility of Chinese vaccines, but we will also ensure the affordability of Chinese vaccines. Of course we respect any decision made by the Government of Zimbabwe on how many vaccines to buy from China,” said the Ambassador.
Ambassador Guo said he was not a medical expert, but had not heard of any serious side effects of their vaccine save for the normal pains associated with injections.
Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa said information dissemination had been the country’s beacon in fighting the pandemic.
She said President Mnangagwa had repeatedly called on Zimbabweans to fight together against the virus and thanked Zimbabweans helping the country record successes in its response.
“We have seen Zimbabweans doing a wonderful job and we really applaud them for that. We have seen corporate companies and individuals working together.
“As the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, we have worked hard to ensure every Zimbabwean understands the World Health Organisation protocols,” she said.
Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro talked of the ongoing training for locals to administer the Covid-19 vaccines.
Training is expected to start today and end tomorrow.
“The vaccine is here, the first step is that we are going to teach our people how it is given. We will also be helped by Chinese doctors who are here. We have many Zimbabwean doctors that have been trained in China.
“The vaccine is scientifically looked at and our response is always based on science. The vaccine is given to provoke immunity against the virus,” said Dr Mangwiro.
Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe acting director-general Mr Richard Rukwata said they were recommending the use of the Chinese vaccines following authorisation to administer them on the population.
“If we doubted it, we could not have recommended it to be used on Zimbabweans,” said Mr Rukwata.