Tanzania received three types of coronavirus vaccines to allow citizens who want to travel abroad to be inoculated and conform with public health regulations in foreign countries, according to Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa.

Majaliwa said the government pondered the fate of Tanzanians traveling for business and those attending religious pilgrimages, which requires COVID-19 vaccine certificates, and decided to import the vaccines.

“The president instructed us to think about this issue and we came to the conclusion that we must import a few vaccines,” he said Wednesday, without disclosing details.

Since coming to power in March, President Samia Suluhu Hassan has been instituting various measures to fight the pandemic.

The government said the East African nation would spend $470 million to purchase vaccines and support economic sectors hit hard by the virus.

Hassan, who took office after the death of her COVID-19 denying predecessor, John Magufuli, said the money would be spent to purchase vaccines, protective gear and medical equipment.

Tanzania recently joined the COVAX global vaccine-sharing facility, in a move highlighting a change of course following Magufuli’s death

Majaliwa instructed health officials to conduct due diligence to establish the best vaccines the government would bank on for mass inoculation.

“We hear that some vaccines have serious side effects such as causing blood to clot, so we were very selective to come up with two or three types that we have imported,” he said.

He said the vaccine jabs will be administered voluntarily to those wishing to be immunized.

“For those wishing to attend religious pilgrimage next year, they have the opportunity to take the jab here in Tanzania,” the premier said during Muslim holiday festivities.

Majaliwa urged parents with children wishing to travel abroad for study to ensure they are vaccinated.

“Don’t waste your money to travel to South Africa, Dubai or China to be vaccinated, we have it here,” he said.

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