Zimbabwe has received its first 200,000 Sinopharm vaccines donated by the Chinese government.
The vaccines arrived at the Robert Mugabe International Airport in the capital, Harare, in the early hours of Monday and were received by Vice President and Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga.
“It has not been lost on us that in times of need China’s response has been swift,” he said, describing China’s donation as “yet another demonstration of the long bond of friendship and solidarity”.
According to state media, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has also purchased an additional 600,000 Sinopharm vaccine doses that are expected to arrive early next month, according to state media.
The donation is one of China’s first shipments of vaccines to Africa, after deliveries to Egypt and Equatorial Guinea.
The first doses will undergo routine checks by the local medicines control authority before being administered this week. Health professionals and immigration agents working at border posts will get first priority for the jabs, according to a government roll-out plan.