The World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday that Tanzania plans to apply to join the COVAX global vaccine sharing center.
The WHO said it was the latest sign of the country’s change of course following the death of its COVID-19 skeptical president in March.
Former President John Magufuli had played down the pandemic and expressed skepticism about vaccines, but his successor Samia Suluhu Hassan has sought to gradually bring the country into line with global public standards to fight COVID-19.
The nation of more than 58 million people is one of four African countries that have yet to begin vaccination campaigns, according to the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We have received reports that Tanzania is now officially working to join the COVAX facility,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, told a press conference.
Tanzanian authorities were not immediately available for comment.
Another indication of the country’s new approach, its finance minister said the government had asked the International Monetary Fund for a loan of $ 571 million to help it meet the challenges caused by the pandemic.
Tanzania stopped reporting COVID-19 cases and deaths in May 2020 and, despite other policy changes made by the new president, has not resumed reporting. (Reuters / NAN)