Zanzibar — Zanzibar has placed more orders for Covid-19 jabs as vaccination of health workers kicks off on the Isles.
The Health, Social Welfare, Gender, the Elderly and Children permanent secretary in Zanzibar, Dr Omar Dadi Shajak, told The Citizen yesterday that Covid-19 jabs were optional for citizens.
"The government has not officially started to provide a Covid-19 vaccine all people, but we have started with health workers who are in the frontline of fighting against coronavirus," said Dr Shajak.
He noted that those who stepped forward and received a vaccine jab against the virus would have to wait for another one after the arrival of the next consignment of the vaccine "because two doses are supposed to be administered."
Without mentioning the number of the health workers who came forward for the vaccine, Dr Shajak said the first dose started to be administered on July 6, and the second dose will start next week.
He said after the vaccination of the health workers, the others to receive the vaccine would be those in the sectors such as tourism, airports and ports.
According to Dr Shajak, the vaccine administered to the health workers is funded by the Zanzibar government.
However, when asked about the cost of the vaccine jab for every worker, Dr Shajak replied that he 'does'nt know about it'.
He also said he did not know the exact number of the workers who received the vaccine because its process was still in progress.
For his part, Health minister Nassor Ahmed Mazrui said the consignment of the vaccine for all citizens was yet to arrive in the country.
"The government is yet to officially provide the vaccine because the consignment of the vaccine is yet to arrive in the country and we don't know when that consignment will arrive because we have just asked for it.
However, we will let you know when it arrives."
When asked about citizens not taking precautions against the disease, Mr Mazuri replied that when the disease would hit hard, then they would take more steps including imposing fines on those defying mandatory precautions.