Zimbabwe grants conditional authority to vaccinate children against COVID-19

An elderly woman is vaccinated at a local hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe on March 29, 2021, Tafadzwa Ufumeli / Getty Images

Zimbabwe’s drug regulator, the Medicines Control Authority, has given a conditional authority to have children vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to a report by the state-owned Herald newspaper.

Zimbabwe is extending its COVID-19 vaccination to teenagers aged 14 to 17, making it one of the first countries in Africa to target this age group.

FILE PHOTO: A woman is vaccinated at a local hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe. /Getty Images

“The condition is that the Ministry of Health and Child Care shall conduct a Phase Three clinical trial first before rolling out the vaccination; and the ministry is in the process of implementing the MCAZ conditions, and once that is complete, the vaccination will begin,” the Herald quoted the nation’s Ministry of Health as saying.

Due to the progress achieved in the ongoing vaccination program of the adult population, the deputy Health minister John Mangwiro urged parents to avail their children to take the jab when their opportunity arrives.

The news comes as Zimbabwe is expected to receive a new shipment of 1.5 million Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines. The consignment is expected to be delivered in batches of 500,000 doses between Friday and Sunday.

Zimbabwe has received more than 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, including this latest consignment.

Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa recently appealed to the media to devise innovative ways to encourage Zimbabweans to take up the COVID-19 vaccine.

Zimbabwe has been witnessing a reduction in numbers of infections and deaths following a deadly resurgence, driven mainly by the delta variant.

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