Disregard Anti COVID-19 Vaccine Talks, “Let us shield ourselves”: Tanzanian Archbishop

Archbishop Jude Thaddaeus Ruwa’ichi of Tanzania's Dar es Salaam Archdiocese. Credit: Vatican Media

A Catholic Archbishop in Tanzania has cautioned against those campaigning against COVID-19 vaccination program, and urged the people of God in the East African nation to disregard such campaigns.

Archbishop Jude Thaddaeus Ruwa’ichi who was speaking at the Funeral Mass of one of the Priest's in Tanzania’s Archdiocese of Dar es Salaam decried insincerity on the part of section of Tanzanians who prayed for the jabs but are now rejecting them.

“Disregard talks that create doubt, those who oppose the vaccine,” Archbishop Ruwa’ichi said Tuesday, August 24.

The Archbishop of Dar es Salaam went on to invite “those of you who are old enough to be vaccinated to go and be vaccinated." 

"Let us not wait for this illness to hit us. Make good use of the opportunity God has given us to take care of ourselves,” added the Tanzanian Archbishop. 


He emphasized the need for citizens of the East African nation to get vaccinated, “This COVID-19 does not choose who to attack. It harms us; it takes away our lives. Let us shield ourselves”

“It is God’s wish that we should be alive and well, so we should not neglect that life,” the 67-year-old member of the Order of Friars Minor (OFM) added. 

Tanzania received the first batch of Johnson and Johnson vaccines from the United States in July. 

Health officials in the country are, however, struggling to dismiss false information about the jabs in the country that had been skeptical about COVID-19 restrictions under the leadership of the late President, John Pombe Magufuli who had declared the country free of the pandemic. 

219,000 Tanzanians out of the target 58 million have been vaccinated so far. 

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The country has recorded at least 1,367 cases of the coronavirus, including 50 deaths and 183 recoveries. 

In his August 24 message, Archbishop Ruwa'ichi expressed surprise about those criticizing the vaccination program saying, “We asked God to grant us a vaccine against COVID. The vaccine has been found but we have entered into arguments that are against the vaccine.” 

He assured Tanzanians of the safety of the jabs saying several leaders among them Pope Francis have been vaccinated. 

The Archbishop of Dar es Salaam also called on his compatriots to adhere to COVID-19 health protocols issued by relevant authorities. 

“Pay close attention to the instructions of health professionals. I urge each of you to commit and be very responsible in living and acting on the instructions of health professionals,” he said. 


Tanzanians should display the “highest level of accountability” as the nation is going through “a difficult period” because of the pandemic, he added. 

“May we continue to ask God to have mercy on us and to save us from this pandemic,” Archbishop Ruwa’ichi further said August 24.