South Africa has just announced that they plan to acquire one million COVID-19 vaccines this month. Frontline workers will be prioritised when vaccinating according to the authorities in that country. More vaccines will be obtained in February. Kenya has also said that they are going to ordering 24 million AstraZenneca vaccine doses although it’s not clear when they will take the delivery.
Zimbabwe meanwhile is mum on the issue of vaccines. The country is struggling already to provide frontline workers with enough PPE in order for them to provide adequate care for patients. While initially spared by the first coronavirus wave, the second wave has been especially devastating in Zimbabwe. Apart from saying they are considering all options (political speak for we don’t have an actionable plan yet) there is no word as to when Zimbabwe will make concerted efforts to acquire the vaccine.
When quizzed about the current crises the government’s Secretary for Information Nick Mangawana retorted that only about 15% of COVID-19 patients would require hospital attention and only 5% of sufferers would require intensive care attention. He said those numbers were coming from the Ministry of Information. The problem is that while those numbers don’t seem to demand urgent attention, they do require urgent attention as a quick analysis showed otherwise. Even with such low numbers requiring the ICU we don’t even have beds close to that in our hospitals that are already full.