Hassan’s vaccination on Wednesday was the most decisive signal to date of a break with the policies of his late predecessor who repeatedly rejected the threat of the pandemic.
Former President John Magufuli had warned citizens of COVID-19 vaccines and recommended home remedies such as steam inhalation. Since his death in March and Hassan’s swearing-in, the government has changed course on COVID-19, with officials now calling for physical distancing and emphasizing wearing masks in public.
Hassan, who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, expressed confidence in the safety of the vaccines and said the country of more than 58 million people would sue more.
“We will make sure that our country has enough vaccines for those who are ready to be vaccinated,” Hassan said at the launching ceremony in the commercial capital Dar-es-Salaam, before taking his shot at the crowd. cameras.
The United States on Saturday announced the delivery of more than one million doses through the global COVAX initiative to supply low- and middle-income countries.
At the launch of the campaign, Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima pledged to launch a comprehensive public education campaign to tackle misinformation about vaccines.
“Vaccines are the modern weapon to reverse this COVID and eliminate it like polio and other diseases,” said the minister.
Josephat Gwajima, an evangelical church leader and lawmaker for the ruling CCM party, sparked widespread anger last week when he denigrated vaccines.
Hassan, who was joined by the prime minister, chief justice and other leaders to take the jab, sought to reassure people about the effectiveness and safety of vaccines.
“I wouldn’t risk my life… I want to set a good example for the public,” she said.
Tanzania went more than a year without updating its number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, but has now resumed reporting the data to the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), which indicated 858 cases in the country on Wednesday.
Critics of Tanzania’s past stance on COVID-19, however, have long warned that many more people have been infected.
Hassan has also pledged to invest in vaccine manufacturing, according to the Africa CDC. On Tuesday, she met the agency’s director, John Nkengasong.
African countries, hit hard by so-called vaccine nationalism as rich countries prioritize doses for their own citizens, are embracing the need to have more control over vaccine production.
Only two African countries have not yet started vaccinations against COVID-19, Burundi and Eritrea.
Burundi, whose late President Pierre Nkurunziza had also been criticized for downplaying the importance of the pandemic, said vaccines were not yet needed. And Eritrea has long been criticized by human rights groups as one of the most closed and repressive countries in the world.