Tanzania on Tuesday received 499,590 doses of Pfizer-Biotech vaccine from the United States under COVAX Facility, a move that provides multiple options for Tanzanians on the types of vaccines they should go for. Pfizer is a third COVID-19 vaccine that has been received in the country; others are Johnson & Johnson from the US and Sinopharm from China.
The government has so far approved five vaccines to be used in the country, which have also been endorsed by WHO as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sinopharm and Sinovac. Under the COVAX arrangement, Tanzania, like other countries will receive vaccines which will cover 20 percent of its total population. Speaking shortly during an event to receive the vaccines, Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr. Dorothy Gwajima assured Tanzanians that the vaccines are safe and have been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
"Right now, Tanzanians have multiple options on what kind of vaccine they want to take, they are not limited to one vaccine," she said, commending the US for its continued support for Tanzania. She said, by November 19 this year a total of 1,359,624 Tanzanians were fully vaccinated among whom, 988,293 were injected with a single shot of J & J vaccine while the remaining had received double shots of Sinoparm.
According to her, some 371,331 others received a single shot of Sinopharm. Dr. Gwajima also named Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Dodoma, Arusha, Mwanza, Ruvuma, Mbeya, Morogoro, Mtwara and Kagera as the best regions that have performed well in the issuance of COVID-19 vaccine. So far, the government has already received a total of 1,227,400 doses of J & J vaccines for 1,227,400, 2,578,400 doses of Sinopharm vaccines for 1,289,200 people as it requires two shots per person.
"The just received 499,590 doses of Pfizer are meant for 249,795 people, the government will use the available scientists to confirm efficacy of the vaccines before being introduced for the use," she assured. The Minister went on to urge Tanzanians who are not yet vaccinated, to consider taking the jab since the vaccines are safe and have been approved by the world class-top laboratories of the WHO.
However, she stressed on the need for the public to adhere to all preventive measures, including wearing masks, washing hands with running water and soap routinely and using hand sanitizers. Other measures outlined include avoid congestion and, where necessary, consider social distancing by at least one meter from one person to another and regular physical exercises coupled with measuring temperature. Earlier, the Ambassador of US to Tanzania, Dr. Donald Wright reiterated the commitment of his government to continue supporting developing countries including Tanzania in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania Tel Aviv, Israel.