Global Health

COVID-19: Only 2.11 Percent Vaccinated in Tanzania as Fourth Wave Rages

Dar es Salaam. Achieving the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s target of vaccinating 40 percent of the population by the end of the year is still a tall order for Tanzania which has now covered 2.11 percent only.

Tanzania, which has received nearly 4.4 million Covid-19 doses from Covax facility and other development partners over the period of four months since July 2021, has only been able to administer 1.2 million doses.

According to the manager in-charge of the National Vaccination Programme at the ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Florian Tinuga, this is only 2.11 percent over 57 million people in the country.

“We are continuing to push the national agenda for people to vaccinate because the science of vaccines and global evidence shows that the Covid-19 vaccines can protect against severe disease as well as limit the transmission of the virus,” he said.

Speaking yesterday during a briefing session involving editors and media owners, Dr Tinuga said Tanzania has three situations when it comes to Covid-19 patients; those who do not seek medical help, those who went to the hospital and those who only went when they reached a critical stage.

He said: “The majority (80 percent) of the people with Covid-19 do not seek medical help and some do not even know if they have the disease because they are not showing, only 15 percent reach to the health centres while 5 percent wait until they are critical,”

Dr Tinuga said this is why the government has been increasing efforts to influence people to vaccinate and especially those considered in vulnerable situations such as health workers, military, teachers and even media.

One of the challenges on the vaccination rollout in Tanzania include the spread out of incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable facts on Covid-19 vaccines, says an expert on Public Health from the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (Muhas), Prof Deodatus Kakoko.

Prof Kakoko said: “In the first few weeks, the roll out was slow because people were not informed and there was a lot of myths and wrong facts about the vaccines, but now many people are aware on its significance during this pandemic,”

For his part, Tanzania Editors Forum (TEF) chairman Deodatus Balile said media personnel have a key role in the vaccination campaign, saying it is in their power to educate and provide the public with correct info on how to protect themselves from Covid-19.

“When the first case was announced in Tanzania, the media played a good role in influencing people to wash hands and wear masks, so if we use the same efforts to influence vaccines we can succeed even more,” said Balile.

According to WHO, only nine African countries have met a target of vaccinating 10 percent of their populations against Covid-19 by the end of September, a statistic that illustrates how far the continent is lagging behind global vaccination rates.


English News

Tanzania Kicks Off COVID-19 Vaccinations

In a major breakthrough for one of the world’s last countries to embrace COVID-19 vaccines, Tanzania’s president kicked off the nation’s vaccination campaign Wednesday by publicly receiving a dose and urging others to do the same.

The East African country’s government under former President John Magufuli had long worried African health officials by denying the pandemic. Magufuli, who insisted the coronavirus could be defeated with prayer, died in March. The presidency went to his deputy, Samia Suluhu Hassan, who has since changed Tanzania’s course on COVID-19.

Hassan, who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, expressed confidence in the safety of vaccines and said the country of more than 58 million people will pursue more. The United States on Saturday announced the delivery of more than 1 million doses via the COVAX global initiative aimed at supplying low- and middle-income countries.

Tanzania went well over a year without updating its number of confirmed virus cases but has now resumed reporting the data to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which showed 858 cases in the country as of Wednesday.

Critics of Tanzania’s past stance on COVID-19, however, have long warned that many more people have been infected.

Tanzania’s current president also has pledged to invest in vaccine manufacturing, according to the Africa CDC; the agency’s director, John Nkengasong, met with Hassan on Tuesday. African countries, hit hard by so-called vaccine nationalism as rich nations prioritize doses for their own citizens, are embracing the need to have more control over vaccine production.

Just two African countries still have yet to start COVID-19 vaccinations, Burundi and Eritrea. Burundi, whose late President Pierre Nkurunziza also had been criticized for downplaying the pandemic, has said vaccines aren’t needed yet. And Eritrea has long been criticized by human rights groups as one of the world’s most closed-off, repressive countries.

Source: AP

English News

#BreakingNews: “I’m a Mother of 4, Grandma, Wife, President and Commander in Chief of the United Republic of Tanzania. I’m Ready for Vaccination,” says President @SuluhuSamia as She Gets a COVID Jab in Public.

English News

Tanzania Receives First Shipment of COVID-19 Vaccines

The East African nation plans to inoculate 60% of its 60m population from coronavirus, Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima announced today

English News

BREAKING: Tanzania Records 29 new Covid-19 deaths, 176 New Cases Taking Total Since Outbrake of the Third Wave to 858.

Tanzania has today confirmed 29 deaths with 176 new coronavirus cases recorded yesterday.

The new cases brings the total number of cases since the outbreak of the third wave to 858.

Speaking at a press conference Health Minister Dr Dorothy Gwajima said the figures were recorded only yesterday saying that there is a possibility that more deaths could have occurred.

The minister stated that despite the government’s continued efforts to insist people take all precautionary measures against the disease, a large section of the public is still negligent.

The government, on June 28, for the first time in over a year made public the data, where President Samia Suluhu Hassan revealed that there were 100 new Covid-19 cases in the country, with 70 in critical condition then.

The President relayed the alarming statistics during her maiden press conference at the State House in Dar es Salaam

As the third wave seems to be catching steam, President Hassan has continued to remind Tanzanians to take precautions to protect themselves from the pandemic. In one instance she cited some of the regions that have so far been hit by the deadly third wave.

With growing number of cases and hospitals now running short of oxygen supply, Tanzania has found itself against the ropes trying to guard itself from the heavy blows of the virus, with some patients succumbing to the disease.

So far, some of the heavily affected regions by Covid-19 as mentioned by the Head of State are: Kagera, Arusha, Mwanza, Dar es Salaam and the administrative capital Dodoma.

She reiterated the need for everyone to be accountable during these trying times as the whole world is battling an unprecedented health crisis.

President Samia has adopted a completely different approach to dealing with the pandemic since she ascended to power on March 19, following the death in office of her predecessor, the late Magufuli on March 17.

She said on Monday that as soon as she was sworn-in as President, she immediately embarked on ways of adopting the globally-accepted measures of preventing the spread of coronavirus, including adopting vaccines.

In strengthening fights for Covid-19 yesterday Health Ministry, banned ‘all unnecessary public gatherings’ nationwide saying that those that appear to be compulsory should observe all precautions.

Source: The Citizen

English News

Tanzania Set To Receive 300k COVID Vaccine From COVAX

Tanzania is set to receive 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX program which aims to help poor countries. Minister of Health Dr. Dorothy Gwajima says they plan to begin vaccinating health workers and all those in the frontline on the war against coronavirus

English News

Breaking News: Tanzania Records 408 COVID Cases With 284 On Ventilators