MUHAS, SUA, NIMR link up to develop Covid-19 jab     

05Aug 2021
The Guardian
MUHAS, SUA, NIMR link up to develop Covid-19 jab     

​​​​​​​THE Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Science (MUHAS) and the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) have joined forces to develop a  Covid-19 vaccine.

SUA Vice Chancellor Prof Raphael Chibunda.

Speaking during the launch of a vaccination drive at the institution yesterday, SUA Vice Chancellor Prof Raphael Chibunda said the tripartite efforts are meant to end dependency on jabs from abroad.

Tanzania launched its national inoculation campaign a week ago after receiving the first batch of over one million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine donated by the United States through the World Health Organization's Covax facility.

Prof Chibunda said the home-grown initiative which is in exploratory stages is meant to see Tanzania producing enough Covid-19 vaccines instead of relying on donations from other countries.

He said as for now, all vaccines that are being administered have been imported, but as the country’s intellectuals, and in their positions in the mentioned universities, have seen the need to embark on research to satisfy the country’s need for vaccines for Covid-19.

Following the delivery of vaccines to Morogoro Region, SUA submitted a request for establishing a vaccination centre  there due to the big number of students – over 15,000 including 2,000 employees and academic staff members, many of whom are of advanced age.

He thanked the office of the Regional Commissioner and the Regional Medical Office for accepting the request, allocating them 500 doses that would be administered to people in the special priority groups.

Prof Chibunda said he believes the small number of doses allocated will be increased as days go by, urging the university community to disregard what was being circulated in the social media.

Dr Omary Kasuwi, heart diseases specialist and doctor in charge at SUA, thanked the government for the allocated doses as this will reduce challenges faced by members of SUA community seeking treatment at the hospital.

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