By Nyasha Mutena
The Private Sector, fronted by Medical aid company, Cimas has launched the Private Sector COVID-19 Vaccination Programme inorder to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 by achieving herd immunity.
Achieving herd immunity entails having at least 60% of the population vaccinated against COVID-19.
Officiating the programme which was held today 29 April 2021 at Cimas Headquarters, Borrowdale race course, Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Hon. John Mangwiro, said this initiative will complement government’s limited resources which have been further stretched by the pandemic.
“A private sector initiative to meet the cost of some of the vaccines is very welcome. The initiative also further demonstrates the patriotism of private sector organisations that have been working together with the Government to combat COVID-19 for the benefit of the nation. It demonstrates what can be achieved when we act together as a nation with unity of purpose,” said Hon Mangwiro.
He said the vaccines acquired through the government are going to be dispensed through Cimas clinics which provides yet another avenue for people to access the vaccine and ultimately speed up the vaccination exercise.
Through this partnership, the private sector managed to import the Sinovac vaccines through the Health and Child Care and Finance and Development ministries. Cimas and the Business Management Organizations (BMOs) paid for the costs of the vaccines.
Also, the BMOs include the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ), Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CMZ), Insurance Council of Zimbabwe (ICZ), the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (ZCT) and the Zimbabwe National Chambers of Commerce (ZNCC).
Cimas Board Chairperson Mrs Emmy Fundira had this to say;
“What you witness here today, is the first of many vaccination sites which Cimas and the BMOs intend to establish throughout the country.
“The overall risk of hospitalization and death among fully vaccinated people will be much lower than among people with similar risk factors who are not vaccinated”.
She said this program is also expected to dispel any fears and boost the confidence of many people to get vaccinated.
“We anticipate that this private sector initiative will contribute to increasing the pace at which the required herd immunity is reached in Zimbabwe.
“It is our hope that this demonstration of confidence in the vaccine by the private sector organisations will encourage some who may have had their doubts about it to come forward and be vaccinated,” She said.