HARARE, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe on Thursday became the first African country to authorize the use of Covaxin, India’s first homegrown COVID-19 vaccine. 

News of the vaccine’s approval for use was disclosed by the Indian embassy after its ambassador, Vijay Khanduja, called on Vice President Constantino Chiwenga to discuss bilateral matters.

Chiwenga also doubles as Zimbabwe’s health minister.

Emerging from a meeting with the ambassador, Chiwenga “conveyed the good news of the authorization of Covaxin, India’s indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, in Zimbabwe,” the Indian embassy said on Twitter.

“Trying to get it to Zimbabwe at an early date,” it added.

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa said last month that his country was set to receive a donation of 75,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses from India.

Zimbabwe received a donation of 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China last month, which is currently being used to vaccinate the country’s frontline health care workers. The country aims to inoculate at least 10 million of its approximately 15 million citizens.

The country expects to receive another 600,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine this month.

Zimbabwe has 36,223 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 1,483 deaths and 33,632 recoveries, according to the Health Ministry.

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