TANZANIA – Tanzania has received 1,000,000 doses of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine donated by the government of Turkey to support the ongoing mass COVID-19 vaccination exercise.

The first batch of one million doses of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines is part of the four million doses expected to arrive in Tanzania from Turkey in support against the widespread disease.

The 4,000,000 COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in four phases and the Ministry of Health intends to inoculate two million people above the age of 18 years in the ongoing vaccination drive.

The vaccination campaign will also prioritize persons with comorbidities that have been identified as increasing the risk of severe COVID-19 including obesity, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease.

The Minister for Health Ms Ummy Mwalimu received the donated vaccines which arrived at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in Dar es Salaam.

She said that Tanzania launched its vaccination drive on 28th July 2021 and so far, the government has received a total of 10,845,774 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to aid in the country’s response.

The 10,845,774 million COVID-19 vaccines include Sinopharm, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer and Sinovac which are enough to be administered to more than six million people,” added Ms Mwalimu.

She further said that a total of 3,016,551 people in the country have been fully vaccinated out of the 30,740,928 million targeted groups of people of above 18 years by 21st March 2021.

There is dire need to strengthen international cooperation to fully leverage COVID-19 vaccines as a powerful weapon by ensuring equitable distribution which will quicken vaccination and help close the immunization gap,” she emphasized.

The collaborative efforts will also aid in building multiple lines of defense against coronavirus and speed up efforts to build a global community of health for all.

Ms Mwalimu urged the public to continue observing safety measures against the COVID-19 such as washing hands, wearing face masks, using hand sanitizers, social distancing as well as eating balanced diet and regular exercising.

The Ministry has already conducted laboratory research by taking 26 samples and clinical test results prove that there were no new COVID-19 variants detected in the country,” she confirmed.

However, the Minister for Health stressed that people should take preventive measures based on the fact that COVID-19 variants have been reported in other African countries including South Africa.

The Ministry of Health will also enhance sensitization programmes on the measures to curb the spread of coronavirus including the benefits of vaccination against the global pandemic.

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