Tanzania to get Covax vaccines to fight Covid

Tanzania is set to receive 300,000 Covid-19 vaccines from the UN-backed Covax scheme.

Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima said healthcare workers and all those on the frontline of the war against coronavirus would be first to be jabbed.

“We have completed all the formalities of the Covax programme, and we expect to receive 20% of the vaccine which is free and then the government will make plans to increase funding to get the remaining percentage,” said Dr Gwajima.

Tanzania’s previous president, the late John Magufuli, was a coronavirus sceptic.

A year ago he had declared victory over the virus and the country refused to release any more data about it. He was also opposed to foreign-made vaccines.

Following his death in March, his successor, Samia Suluhu, has started to take a new approach towards the pandemic, like encouraging the wearing of face masks.

The health minister added that Tanzania would now start releasing Covid-19 data every two weeks, publishing it online as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Regarding recent reports of oxygen cylinder shortages at some hospitals, she said the situation had been caused by people not observing Covid-19 precautions which had led to an increase in coronavirus cases. — BBC news

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