Tanzania has received its first batch of the single shot Janssen Covid -19 vaccines from the US.
The 1,058,400 vaccines arrived Saturday at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, and were received by Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima, Foreign Affairs Minister Liberata Mulamula and US Ambassador to Tanzania Donald J. Wright.
Dr Gwajima assured Tanzanians that the vaccine, manufactured by Johnson&Johnson, is safe and has been certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Tanzania's health agency.
"Priority groups as outlined in the guidelines include health workers, adults 50 years and older, those with chronic diseases," she said.
"I call on Tanzanians from the first priority group as I identified earlier to come forward to get this vaccine against Covid-19 as the community getting the vaccine will greatly help reduce the outbreaks."
The vaccines will be stored at the Medical Store Department (MSD) in Dar es Salaam until the immunisation campaign begins.
"Once all internal procedures are completed the government will start providing these vaccines at various health facilities in the country in accordance with the existing guidelines," Dr Gwajima said.
The vaccines will be available at healthcare centres and other special centres that will be set up to facilitate inoculation, she added.
Ambassador Wright said the US is sharing the vaccines to save lives and help in fighting the pandemic.
Dr Gwajima added that the country expects to receive more vaccines from other countries.
The minister urged residents to continue adhering to Covid-19 guidelines to curb spread of the virus.