Zimbabwe to receive 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine by June 15

Zimbabwean officials inspect a shipment of the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines at Harare International Airport on March 16, 2021 in Harare, Zimbabwe. (Photo: Agencies)

Zimbabwe is set to receive 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines on June 15, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told reporters on Tuesday without providing further details.

The southern African country launched its mass vaccination program on February 18 after receiving a donation of 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China earlier in the week.

It received another batch of one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine made by the Chinese firm Sinovac on March 30.

Last month, Mutsvangwa said her country was awaiting an additional 500,000 vaccine doses ordered from Sinopharm to arrive this month.

By Tuesday, the number of vaccines administered had surpassed 688,000, with over 385,000 people fully vaccinated.

The Zimbabwean government hopes to inoculate at least 60% of the country's 14 million people by the end of the year but has struggled to obtain the jabs as producing countries refocus their manufacturing to cater for local needs.

The country has so far recorded 39,238 COVID-19 infections with 1,611 deaths.