Dr Ngegwe Bulula, acting manager for immunization and vaccine development at the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children received the donation from Kate Somvongsiri, the mission director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Tanzania, during a ceremony at the Julius Nyerere International Airport.
As part of its efforts to end the pandemic globally, the US government has thus far donated over three million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Tanzania, first giving more than one million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine late July, enabling Tanzania to launch its nationwide vaccination campaign against the debilitating virus.
Late last month the US government shipped 500,000 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine to Tanzania to further support the country’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Dr Donald Wright, the US Ambassador said that these efforts are indicative of the U.S. government’s strong partnership and commitment to the Tanzanian people and shared interest in defeating COVID-19 together.
“We are committed to helping Tanzania and the world win the fight against COVID-19. We commend the government of Tanzania for its efforts to vaccinate its population so far, and we hope this additional contribution of vaccine doses will accelerate the vaccination campaign and bring us closer to ending the pandemic,” said.
America’s support for the global fight against COVID-19 includes donating 300m vaccine doses to other countries, purchasing one billion vaccine doses to donate to nearly 100 developing countries and contributing $4bn to GAVI, the global vaccine alliance.
The cash donation is intended to support COVAX, the global initiative to equitably distribute safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines worldwide and delivering essential medicines, supplies and therapeutics, he stated. This and other forms of assistance will help countries rebuild economies, overcome food shortages and strengthen health security, the envoy underlined.
To date, the US has provided more than 80m COVID-19 vaccine doses and more than $1.9bn in COVID-19 related assistance to African countries with no strings attached, he further stated.
He referred to remarks by President Joe Biden pledging that the United States will be the world’s arsenal of vaccines in the shared fight against COVID-19. “We will continue to do all we can to build a world that is safer and more secure against the threat of infectious disease,” he said, citing the president’s strenuous affirmation upon taking office early this year.