The first COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in Tanzania

An important milestone in the fight against COVID-19

Helene Sandbu Ryeng
24 July 2021
A plane landing
UNICEF Tanzania/Msirikale

Touchdown at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam.

Just after 1:30pm 24 July, the first COVID-19 vaccines landed safely in Tanzania.

Cargo outside an aircraft
UNICEF Tanzania/Msirikale

The 1,058,450 doses of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine arriving today are donated by the United States of America. The shipment was facilitated through COVAX, a global partnership comprised of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), GAVI the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and WHO to enhance equitably access COVID-19 vaccines.

Vaccine boxes
UNICEF Tanzania/Msirikale

The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines will target frontline health care workers given their high exposure to COVID-19. Elderly and people with co-morbid conditions are at high risk of developing severe illness if exposed to the COVID-19 virus therefore they will also be among the priority groups.

All the COVID-19 vaccines have been vigorously tested and deemed safe by some of the best vaccine experts in the world. UNICEF is urging everyone who is offered the vaccine to take it.

A UNICEF staff and vaccine Cargo
UNICEF Tanzania/Msirikale

After the arrival, the vaccines were taken to the national vaccine store in Dar Es Salaam where they will be kept cool, meaning between 2 and 8 C°, until the vaccination campaign starts. A total of 11 million Tanzanians, or 20 per cent of the total population, will be targeted for the vaccines coming through COVAX. 

UNICEF wants to thank the Government of Tanzania for its leadership in these difficult times and congratulate the Government on securing the first COVID-19 vaccines for Tanzanians. 

People in front of the vaccines
UNICEF Tanzania/Msirikale

Exited partners welcomed the shipment at the airport today, which marks a milestone in Tanzania's fight against COVID-19.

While the vaccination will soon start, it is essential that people continue to practice the COVID-19 prevention measures such as frequent handwashing with soap and clean water, physical distancing and wearing mask in public areas to protect the most vulnerable people against COVID-19. With the third wave moving through the country, we all have a role to play in halting the transmission. 

UNICEF would like to thank the U.S. Government for their generous contribution and COVAX for getting the vaccines to Tanzania safely.