Tanzania says embassies, international agencies can import COVID-19 vaccines

June 5, 2021

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, inspects a guard of honour by the Kenya Defence Forces at State House in Nairobi, Kenya, May 4, 2021. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

By Reuters

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.

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.

Tanzania is one of a handful of African countries that have not yet received vaccines, according to the World Health Organization.

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.

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