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Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu Hassan gets Covid jab in policy reverse

In a sudden and dramatic change of policy, Tanzanians are being actively encouraged to receive Covid-19 vaccinations. Tanzania represents one of Africa’s most populous countries and was led by former President John Magufuli, who downplayed the virus and called for prayer instead of vaccines and masks. Mr. Magufuli also introduced Covid skepticism and was vocal about his disbelief in the virus’s severity. However, he was recently replaced by Samia Suluhu Hassan, who just received her vaccine on national television to express her support. Ms. Samia also set up a task force to focus specifically on Covid-19 within Tanzania. As of right now, the country has officially reported 29 deaths and 858 Covid-19 cases, however, many believe that the true numbers are much higher.

The World Health Organization recently reported a surge of cases across Africa, warning the nations to take precautions and enact restrictions to curb the virus’s spread. The organization reported a week-on-week rise in deaths within Africa of 43%. Tanzania recently received over one million doses of Johnson & Johnson under a global campaign to help more impoverished countries access the vaccine called Covax. Ms. Samia urged all Tanzanians to get vaccinated and promised to acquire more doses. One part of Tanzania has begun vaccinations, while the semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar started their own campaign two weeks ago utilizing China’s Sinovac vaccine.

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