Manipulative and Deceptive Politics on Covid-19 Vaccine Procurement: June 2021 Monitoring Report on Access to Public Health

The Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) has produced a June 2021 monitoring report pertaining to access to public health in the context of Covid-19 pandemic. The report dissects the availability and accessibility of Covid-19 vaccines across various communities in Zimbabwe. Among other recommendations proffered by the report, the ZDI recommends the government of Zimbabwe to ensure the availability of adequate and high quality Covid-19 vaccines in the context of a recent spike in Covid-19 infections to enable every willing citizen to be vaccinated in line with its constitutional mandate of guaranteeing every citizen’s access to basic healthcare services.

The period under review was characterized by an increase in both Covid-19 infections and deaths globally, regionally and locally. On 31 May 2021, infections in Zimbabwe were more than 38 thousand and deaths stood at close to one thousand six hundred. By 22 June 2021, the country had recorded a total of forty-two thousand seven hundred and fourteen infections, signaling a 9.6 % increase in confirmed cases between 31 May 2021 and 22 June 2021. During the same period, Covid-19 deaths increased by 5.9 % from 1 596 (31 May 2021) to 1 691 (22 June 2021). These figures signal the continued threat of Covid-19 to human existence and therefore calls for government urgency in the procurement of vaccines.

The country’s vaccination plan has been hit by vaccine shortages as supported by empirical evidence. For instance, between 31 May 2021 and 22 June 2021, the number of people who were vaccinated increased by a mere 4.5% as compared to 63% between 30 April 2021 and 31 May 2021. In response to a surge in infections, the government on 12 June 2021 announced adjustments to the pandemic containment measures which, however face defiance from members of the ruling ZANU PF party. The government continues to play manipulative politics on Covid-19 vaccine acquisition as citizens bear the brunt of doses’ shortages across vaccination centres in the country.

Read the full report here (649KB PDF)

Source: Zimbabwe Democracy Institute