Tanzania President Suluhu receives first Covid-19 jab as she launches vaccination drive
By Betty Njeru
| July 28th 2021
Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan has received her first Covid-19 Janssen vaccine jab at State House, Dar es Salaam as she launched a nationwide vaccination drive.
The country’s Health Ministry officials and other leaders also joined in the exercise on Wednesday morning, as Tanzania looks to upscale the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine programme.
In a major turnaround for the East African nation, Suluhu said that the Government would ensure all its citizens are vaccinated, adding that it has set aside funds to buy more vaccines.
“I assure all Tanzanians that measures [to combat Covid-19] are in place. Anyone who wants the dose will get it.To those still resisting, the Government has put in place measures to raise awareness,” she said in a televised address.
The President also noted how Tanzania was lagging in the inoculation exercise as her neighbours rolled out the exercise months prior, urging residents to show up in masses.
“We noted that people were getting vaccinated outside the country. Instead of going all the way, we found it necessary to bring the vaccines closer to you,” Suluhu said.
Tanzania received over one million Johnson and Johnson vaccine doses last week, through the Covax programme.
Residents will only get one shot of the Janssen vaccine, while other vaccines require two shots.
Tanzania’s Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima reassured that the vaccines were safe having been tested, and said that they will readily answer any questions regarding the process.
The Ministry will communicate on the distribution and administration of the doses and provide immunisation procedures in health facilities.
“Vaccination is one of the most important and reliable interventions in the world in the fight against infectious diseases, including Covid-19. So, Tanzanians should take advantage of this important opportunity,” Gwajima was quoted as saying earlier this week.
The country is looking to vaccinate priority groups among them health workers, elderly persons aged 50 and above, and people with underlying conditions.
Gwajima noted with concern that some regions in Tanzania recording high Covid cases will also be prioritised in the exercise including Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Mwanza, Mbeya and Arusha.
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