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Tanzanian President Expresses Doubt on Coronavirus Vaccines

FILE - Tanzania's President John Magufuli speaks at the Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma, Tanzania, Aug. 29, 2020.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has warned his health ministry against rushing to adopt COVID-19 vaccines, suggesting the vaccines may not be safe or effective.

In a speech Wednesday in Western Tanzania, Magufuli expressed doubt about vaccines produced by Western countries.

“If the white man was able to come up with vaccinations, then vaccinations for AIDS would have been brought, tuberculosis would be a thing of the past, vaccines for malaria and cancer would have been found,” said the president.

Magufuli directed the Ministry of Health to adopt a vaccine only after it is certified by Tanzanian experts.

He said Tanzanians must not be used as guinea pigs in vaccine trials.

Little is known about the state of the coronavirus in Tanzania, as the president has declared the country to be “COVID-free” and officials refuse to keep track of coronavirus infections or deaths.

The president has told officials to promote herbs to remedy COVID-19 symptoms.

Maguflui told those in attendance Wednesday that they should continue to put their trust in God, saying that they “have lived for over one year without the virus because our God is able, and Satan will always fail.”

The United States is currently warning Americans to avoid all travel to the East African country, assigning the country a Level 4 alert, the highest advisory level.