IN support of ongoing efforts to control the spread of Covid-19, European Union (EU) has promised to support 20 per cent of the vaccines Zanzibar requires for its more than 1.5 million population, starting with the vulnerable groups.
This follows a meeting between the EU Ambassador to Tanzania Mr Manfredo Fredo with the Zanzibar Minister for Health, Social Welfare, Elders, Gender and Children Mr Ahmed Nassor Mazrui. It was a familiarisation consultation for the new ambassador.
“We discussed a lot about the EU/Zanzibar relations, in various areas of development. The EU has been supporting Zanzibar in health, agriculture, environment, and gender, among others such as supporting youth and women’s getting employed, but top of the agenda now is Covid-19,” Mr Mazrui briefed journalists after the meeting.
He said that the EU ambassador left Zanzibar with hope that the isles will seriously maintain it commitment against the global pandemic by ensuring Zanzibaris are vaccinated and take all the required health precautions to stop Covid-19. EU’s support is through COVAX programme.
COVAX is a global initiative working with governments and manufacturers to ensure Covid-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lowerincome countries.
The Health Minister said those required to vaccinate early include health workers, elderly persons at the age of 60+, journalists and workers in tourism business to build confidence of tourists and investors from abroad that Zanzibar is safe. Zanzibar launched its Covid-19 vaccination exercise last week with Mr Mazrui becoming the first to be vaccinated after China donated 110,000 doses of SINOVAC vaccines.
“Ten thousand was received and is being used, and the consignment of the one hundred thousand is expected on Friday (July 30) from China,” he said.
The minister put emphasis, “I urge all people to ignore speculations and unfounded rumors about the vaccines. As long as it has been approved by the World Health Organizations (WHO), the jab is safe. Let us have it to win the war against the virus.”