Tanzania authorizes embassies, international agencies to import COVID-19 vaccines
London, June 5, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Tanzania said on Friday embassies and international agencies can import COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate their citizens and staff against the coronavirus.
The move is part of a more proactive approach to tackling the disease following the death in March of President John Magufuli, who underplayed the pandemic and expressed scepticism of vaccines.
Tanzania is one of a handful of African countries that have not yet received covid-19 vaccines, according to the World Health Organization.
The announcement came after experts presented President Samia Suluhu Hassan with a plan, including the issuing of vaccines in the country.
“President Samia (Suluhu Hassan) said embassies and international organisations have been permitted to import COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate their own nationals and staff to meet their countries and institution’s requirements and remove barriers on their daily work,” the presidency said in a statement.
The health ministry will coordinate the importation of vaccines for them, it added.
The government reported 509 infections and 21 coronavirus-related deaths before it stopped reporting cases in May 2020. The experts have advised the government to resume publishing accurate statistics.
A special committee of health experts formed by Tanzania’s new president recommended an overhaul of the country’s approach to COVID-19, which until lately was to deny its existence.
Soon after being sworn into office in March, President Samia Suluhu Hassan said Tanzania is not an island and is open to implementing globally accepted coronavirus containment measures if recommended by the country’s experts. She formed a committee to advise her.