Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli. President Magufuli has masters and doctorate degrees in chemistry from The University of Dar es Salaam. In 2019 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Dodoma for improving the economy of the country.
– Tanzanian President Says Citizens Will Not Be Guinea Pigs in COVID Vaccine Trials – Skeptical About Safety of Current COVID-19 Vaccines:
On Feb 2, 2021, Tanzania’s health minister, Dorothy Gwajima, announced that her country has no plans in place to recommend widespread use of COVID-19 vaccines in the African country.
The announcement came a few days after Tanzania’s President John Magufuli expressed concern about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines developed and manufactured in Western countries.
President Magufuli said that the health ministry will only accept COVID-19 vaccines after Tanzania’s experts have examined and certified them. Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima explained,
“We are not yet satisfied that those vaccines have been clinically proven safe.”
President Magufuli reiterated that he will not allow Tanzanians to be used as guinea pigs in COVID-19 vaccine trials conducted by vaccine manufacturers. He warned that COVID-19 vaccines could be harmful and has been urging Tanzanians to stop living in fear and adopt common sense disease control measures and lead a healthy lifestyle. Health Minister Gwajima said:
We must improve our personal hygiene, wash hands with running water and soap, use handkerchiefs, herbal steam, exercise, eat nutritious food, drink plenty of water, and [use] natural remedies that our nation is endowed with.
The WHO and other institutions have been watching Tanzania closely since COVID-19 began to spread across Africa.