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Lesson Despite initial hesistancy, Zimbabwe approved US-based Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use and well being of it's citizens.
Date 27th July, 2021
Country Zimbabwe
Category Success
Theme Vaccine allocation and financing
Impact Zimbabwe initially hesitated in acquiring 3 million J&J COVID-19 vaccine doses from the African Union (AU) donation due to lack of adquate information about the vaccines' quality, safety and efficacy. The Zimbabwe Drug Control Authority finally approved acquisition of J&J vaccines following verification of quality, safety and efficacy requirements. This was a good first step for a country to prioritise saving lives. The next challenge would obviously be increasing vaccine uptake given what their initial hesistancy meant to the general public.
Recommendation Early assessment of vaccine requirements for the population is an important first step to a successful vaccine roll out. Any hesistancy by government increases hesistancy in the population and should be avoided at all cost. COVID-19 vaccines are certified by international reputable bodies for use in human populations. Governments should seek evidence of this certification before purchasing or receiving donations of vaccinal products. Moreover, checking the list of vaccines approved by the WHO can also help governments to make the right choices of vaccine types.