US$6.8 million needed for vaccine rollout: Ministry of Health

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  • 18% of the budget to be spent on advocacy campaigns
  • DSA and lunch for vaccinators to take the largest bite out of the budget
  • 58.8% of the population targeted for vaccination

On top of an unbudgeted US$100 million set aside by the treasury for the acquisition of avarious COVID-19 vaccines, the ministry of health has reported that a further US$6,8 million will be needed to start and finish the rollout process with almost 18% of that meant for advocacy campaigns amidst vaccine skepticism.

The vaccine rollout plan and budget released by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday (16 February 2021) accommodates everything from training, surveys, fuel and even waste disposal but the biggest chunk of it going to the Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) and lunch for the vaccinators which is pegged at over US$1,44 million which is over 20% of the total amount.

The second largest amount, US$1,27 million will be going towards advocacy and communication campaigns as there has been somewhat resistance to taking the vaccine as a result of mostly religious skepticism and from that amount it is evident that the health ministry is going all out to shift perceptions.

Data collection and Personal Protective equipment are expected to cost US$1,22 million and US$1,20 million respectively, an average of 36% of the budget while planning and training will cost US$900 000, 13% of the budget.

The remaining 13% will cater for fuel, proper disposal of vaccination waste, evaluations and assessments among other things.

The ministry said that the budget had been broken down to cater for the three phases of the vaccination process with the first stage of the first phase set to kick off today (18 February 2021) with the vaccination of frontline workers who include doctors, nurses, solders, police, immigration officers and funeral parlor staff.

The first phase of the program which has two stages is set to cost US$1,2 million and has a target of 22% of the population or 3,7 million people.

The second stage of the phase will target village health workers, people with chronic illnesses, citizens over 60 years of age, prisoners and populations of refugee camps.

The second stage that is targeting 18,4% of the population (3,05 million people) will see the vaccination of Lecturers, all schools staff and other staff at medium risk depending with the epidemiological picture of the disease.

Finally, the third phase will also target 18.4% of the population who are classified rather as low risk groups.

If everything goes according to the aforementioned figures, it will mean 58.8% (9,8 million people) of the Zimbabwean population will be vaccinated of which 60% is the expected number for the achievement of herd immunity.

So far, Zimbabwe has only managed to secure 200 000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, enough to vaccinate only 100 000 people, a number which makes up only 1% of the target population.

Equity Axis News.

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