Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

Covid-19 Vaccine Roll Out – Clerics Echo President’s Call

3 min read

RELIGIOUS leaders have backed up President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s request on the need for clerics to join forces with the government to raise awareness on the positive effects of getting Covid-19 jabs.

Tanzania received the first consignment of over one million doses of Covid-19 vaccines in July from the United States as part of the COVAX arrangement.

President Samia issued the request on Tuesday in Dodoma, during an event to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Anglican Church in Tanzania, saying religious leaders have a crucial role to play in sensitizing believers on the importance of vaccines.

“I call upon you, to carry out a massive campaign on the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccination drive… the truth is that the Covid-19 vaccines offer a long lasting immunity against severe illness and deaths,” she said.

Responding on Wednesday on the call, the clerics hinted that working on the request was very crucial.

They said the move would help the country in offering a long lasting immunity against severe illness as well as reducing the number of deaths.

The leaders expressed their readiness and commitment to walk on the plea, since the vaccine promotes the welfare of Tanzanians and the country at large.

Speaking to the ‘Daily News’ in a telephone interview, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) Dr Fredrick Shoo said they have received the request positively.

Dr Shoo, who doubles as the Chairman of Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT) stated that they would continue to educate their followers through preaching and other teachings, as they have been doing in the past.

“We at the CCT have been in the forefront on encouraging Tanzanians to take the jab, as part of efforts to reduce the number of deaths caused by Coronavirus,” he said.

He said CCT members had started disseminating education on the vaccines for the sake of ensuring all members of the society are acquiring the jab even before President Samia’s request.

“We have been using different media outlets and church services to raise awareness on Covid-19 vaccines, it is in our programmes,” he explained.

The Dar es Salaam Sheikh, Alhad Mussa Salum said President Samia’s speech has come at the right time and that the clerics have received it with all hands.

He said, from the day Tanzania recorded the first case of Covid-19, they have been reminding all members of the public on the importance of adhering to the preventive measures against the disease.

“Some of us also took the jab on the day when President Samia launched a vaccination campaign in the country, this shows how much we are supporting our Head of State and motivate Tanzanians to get the vaccine,” he said

Adding; “The vaccine is safe, there is no way that our President can mislead us and bring something harmful into the country, I’m encouraging all Tanzanians to take the vaccine”.

For his part, a bishop of Full Gospel Bible Fellowship Church Bishop Zachary Kakobe also seconds the argument that the vaccine is safe.

“Let’s humble ourselves and take the jab as advised by scientists,” said the bishop recently in one of his teachings that were shared on social media.

During her speech on Tuesday, President Samia was of the view that people, whose families have not been hit by Covid-19, might experience hesitancy on understanding the importance of the jabs.

“As for those who have experienced the impact of the pandemic and lost some of their loved ones, understand the pain and sufferings… .Let’s find it crucial to educate our believers on the pros and cons in taking the Covid-19 vaccines.

Although the vaccines are voluntary, some people still don’t know the benefits of being immunized,” she pointed out.

President Samia launched the vaccination drive in July and assured citizens in the East African nation that the vaccines against the pandemic are safe.

Mass vaccinations against the pandemic started on August 3 in 550 centers initially set by the government in mainland Tanzania’s 26 regions.

This month, the government announced that it has increased centers for vaccination from 550 to 1,548.

By Daily News.

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