Zimbabwe’s second largest city runs out of COVID-19 vaccines

Cropped hand wearing a nitrile glove holding a Covid-19 vaccine vial and a syringe

Hospitals and clinics in Zimbabwe’s second largest city of Bulawayo are now only inoculating people seeking their second dose of COVID-19 vaccines due to shortages, an official said Wednesday.

Bulawayo Provincial Medical Director Welcome Mlilo confirmed the development, which he attributed to an increase in the number of people seeking the vaccines.

Mlilo said the massive awareness campaign rolled out by the government has been effective in getting locals to take up the jabs.

“Yes, it is true that we have run out of vaccines as Bulawayo Metropolitan Province and that is why we have been giving it to people who are coming for their second dose.

“We have run out because the vaccine uptake in Bulawayo Metropolitan was very good. You will notice that almost on a daily basis we averaged around 2,000 to 2,500 vaccinated people daily. Such numbers were always going to pose a threat to our supplies,” Mlilo said.

Bulawayo City Council Director of Health Services Edwin Sibanda said they had been promised more vaccines from other provinces where there was a surplus of vaccines.

“Our aim was to reach 200,000 people but since we have gone almost a week without vaccines, we will have to rebuild that momentum when we get them,” he said.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week commended citizens for embracing the COVID-19 vaccination program and said more vaccines were on their way so that every Zimbabwean who wants to be vaccinated is not denied the right.

Over 900,000 people in the country have so far received the COVID-19 vaccine, of which 639,553 have received their first jab.

Zimbabwe is targeting to inoculate 10 million people to attain herd immunity. The country has recorded 38,706 COVID-19 cases, 36,517 recoveries and 1,587 deaths.