Is it voluntary to be vaccinated?, Tanzania.

Tanzania has already launched mass vaccination against Covid-19, and the matter is purely voluntary.

As the rollout is expected in all regions from Tuesday, the discussion has been whether vaccinations against Covid-19 will remain voluntary anymore to all people at all times.

Some commentators argue that some people will have no option other than vaccinating, due to nature of their activities and the different rules in every jurisdiction, whereby entry into some countries and territories without verification of having taken the jabs would be impossible.

Transport and business community are of the view that while the jabs are voluntary, a majority will look at what is convenient for them.

However, the Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (Taffa) says that it was seeking a dialogue with Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) to identify a smooth way of getting the shots for those who opt to do so.

The statement comes a few days after the government identified 550 health centres across the mainland which will be used for vaccination.

According to the Health ministry, the vaccination targets three groups in the beginning, including health workers, people above the age of 50 and people with underlying conditions.

“At the beginning when the pandemic started a majority of countries required the Covid-19 certificate but going forward they may opt for a vaccine certificate, leaving it to individuals to decide where they stand. A person may decide to stop travelling due to the conditions which is still a good thing,” said transport expert Octavian Kivyrio.

He said the government would continue to create awareness about vaccinations and to top it all the public should continue to listen to expert advice to make informed decisions.

Tanzania Bus Owners Association (Taboa) spokesman Mustafa Mwalongo said their drivers were ready to be inoculated and were currently waiting for the programme to start.

“The public should stop listening to social media information and instead listen to expert advice,” he said.

He noted that despite the vaccinations being voluntary they had not received any information that any of the drivers was not ready to get the jabs.

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