Tanzanian President, John Pombe Magufuli has warned the country's health officials against acquiring COVID-19 vaccines.
“The ministry of health should be careful, they should not hurry to try these vaccines without doing research, not every vaccine is important to us, we should be careful. We should not be used as ‘guinea pigs’,” Magufuli said as quoted by BBC.
He added: “Vaccinations are dangerous. If the white man was able to come up with vaccinations, he should have found a vaccination for Aids, cancer and TB by now.”
He asked Tanzanians to continue observing health guidelines on COVID-19, adding that prayers and traditional medicine are the best ways of dealing with the pandemic.
“Many countries have lockdown, but in Tanzania there are no plan of lockdown and we’ll never introduce lockdown because our God is alive and he will continue to protects us,” said Magufuli.
He did not comment on the concerns raised by the Catholic Church about the recent spike in deaths in its urban parishes. Magufuli is a devout Catholic.
In a statement this week, the church said: “After successfully containing the spread of the virus last year, Tanzania was now facing a new wave of the virus spread."
“Our country is not an island. We have every reason to take precautions and pray to God so that we can be saved from this pandemic.”
Magufuli also ignored reports from Denmark that two Tanzanians, who had visited the country, tested positive for the new COVID-19 strain from South Africa. Instead, he blamed citizens who travel abroad for “importing a new weird corona”.
The Tanzanian government stopped publishing official data on coronavirus in June last year, when Magufuli declared the country COVID-19-free.