President Samia Suluhu Hassan has reaffirmed the government's commitment to establish local vaccine manufacturing factories. The President made the remarks when she held talks with the former United Kingdom Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair at the State House in Dar es Salaam, yesterday. "In handling the CVID-19 pandemic, the Government has devised its own National Deployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP) for COVID-19 vaccine, including the vaccine coordination mechanism," said President Samia.

President Samia said, in building domestic capacity, the Government is planning to set up industries for the manufacturing of different vaccines, and asked Blair's Institute to support the initiatives. The Head of State also told Mr. Blair about her government's measures to improve Tanzania's investment climate for the private sector in order to facilitate the implementation of the 3rd National Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP III). She welcomed Tony Blair Institute for Global Change to come to Tanzania and partner with various institutions in executing priorities set by the Government. <

The President commended Mr. Blair's institution for supervising the execution of various development projects in various partner countries. Mr. Blair, who presides as the Executive Chairman of Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, informed President Samia that over the past one year and a half his Institute has been dealing with managing the COVID-19 situation in 16 African countries.

The ex-UK Prime Minister said taht his institution was supporting all initiatives taken by President Samia's government in bringing development to the people of Tanzania. "The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change has been working to support the implementation of the priorities of the 16 African countries including containing the COVID-19 pandemic," Mr. Blair had informed President Samia.

In containing the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Blair pointed out that his institution is focused on rapid testing and the deployment of vaccines. He said based on their work, the Institute could easily link Tanzania to the global COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers. Blair's institute also deals with building the capacity of partner countries in the areas of Agriculture, Energy and Technology. With the COVID-19 pandemic persistently wreaking havoc across the globe, millions dying and health systems overwhelmed, countries are scrambling for approved vaccines, whose availability remains limited.

Tanzania sees the manufacturing of its own vaccines for various diseases as the best way of maintaining a healthy nation amid regular epidemics. Early this month, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Prof. Abel Makubi noted that plans were ongoing to establish a local factory to produce different vaccines, including possible COVID-19 vaccines. According to Prof. Makubi the construction of the factory will cost the Government over 80bn/-.

The presence of local vaccine manufacturers will among other things ease access and relieve the country from spending huge sums of money from importation of vaccines from other countries. "The feasibility study for this project is ongoing. We spend a lot of money to import different types of vaccines, the envisioned industry will produce all kinds of vaccines," he said. He said Tanzania has qualified health experts to turn that dream into reality within the next few years.