Former Deputy Prime Minister in the inclusive government, Arthur Mutambara says if the Chinese were in an empowering partnership with Zimbabwe, clinical trials should have been done on the Sinopharm vaccine against the South African Covid-19 variant in Zimbabwe or SA before roll out.

“We could have established the efficacy of the Chinese drug against the SA variant before roll-out, just as he South Africans did with respect to the Oxford one before rollout, although they were late into the process as well,” said Mutambara.

“There was plenty time to run trials of the Chinese vaccine on the these variants in Zimbabwe. Why should we depend on data and trials from other jurisdictions?” He said.

Meanwhile, the government is preparing the roll out of the vaccine.

Among those to be vaccinated in the first stage are: 1375 Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Defense Forces 604, Zimbabwe Prison Services 436, Public health workers 5138. Private health workers 271 and Immigration 500.

The vaccines were collected from the National Vaccine stores and distributed to district vaccine stores and on Wednesday, the district vaccine stores started distributing to all health facilities in their districts.

Apparently, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said life can only return to normality once the majority of Zimbabweans have been vaccinated.

He said that is the government’s ultimate goal and thanked both China and Russia for their donation of COVID-19 vaccines to the people of Zimbabwe, saying their generosity during this dark time will not be forgotten.