ADDIS ABABA, Feb 23 (NNN-AGENCIES) — A number of African countries have either openly rejected vaccines amid spread of the coronavirus pandemic while one has yet to make a pronouncement on whether or not it is interested.
Two of these countries are in the East African Community – they are Burundi and Tanzania.
The regional bloc is expected to receive some 39 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from the African Union, which has secured a deal to procure 270 million doses for all member states.
The 270 million doses will be distributed through the Africa Medical Supplies Platform on behalf of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
BURUNDI’s Health minister Thaddee Ndikumana told reporters that prevention is more important, and “since more than 95 per cent of patients are recovering, we estimate that the vaccines are not yet necessary.”
Burundi closed its land and water borders last month. It now has more than 1,820 confirmed coronavirus cases.
TANZANIA says it has prayed Covid-19 away.
Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima told a press conference in Dodoma, “the ministry has no plans to receive vaccines for Covid-19.”
President John Magufuli warned the Health ministry against rushing to acquire Covid-19 vaccines, suggesting they may not be safe or effective.
“If the white man was able to come up with vaccinations, then vaccinations for Aids would have been brought, tuberculosis would be a thing of the past, vaccines for malaria and cancer would have been found,” Magufuli said in western Tanzania.
Magufuli was reported saying Tanzanians “have lived for over one year without the virus because our God is able, and Satan will always fail.”
The last time Tanzania published any data on Covid-19 cases was in May last year.
MADAGASCAR is the other country with the southern African island nation saying it was rather keeping faith with home-made Covid-Organics; an unproven concoction the Andriy Rajoelina government has touted as a preventive and curative medication for the virus.
ERITREA in the Horn of Africa has also yet to speak about vaccination plans if any. The country is so far one of the least impacted on the continent.
Official stats show that as of Monday there are 2,703 total confirmed cases. 628 are active confirmed cases with 2,068 having recovered and 7 deaths.
Meanwhile Rwanda started rolling out the first phase of Covid-19 vaccination last week after receiving 1,000 doses of Moderna vaccine. High-risk groups, among them healthcare workers, are being prioritised.
Other countries that have started vaccination include Morocco, Algeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea. — NNN-AGENCIES
Source: NAM News Network