Double celebration in Tanzania

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Tanzania became only the second developing country to introduce two new vaccines simultaneously on Thursday. Amid scenes of celebration, pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines were administered to children at the Buguruni Health Clinic in Dar es Salaam on Thursday.

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GAVI/2012/Sala Lewis

Dancers literally kick-off the celebrations, performing in front of a large crowd of health workers.

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GAVI/2012/Sala Lewis

The health workers, who have undergone special training required to protect and administer two vaccines simultaneously, join in the celebrations.

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GAVI/2012/Sala Lewis

A large group of dignitaries were also watching. Left to right: Dr. Seth Berkley CEO, GAVI Alliance; Alfonso Lennhardt, US Ambassador to Tanzania; Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, Minister of Health and Social Welfare; Salma Kikwete, First Lady of Tanzania; Dagfinn Hoybraten, GAVI Board Chair.

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GAVI/2012/Sala Lewis

The real stars were the babies - the first to receive pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines and the first Tanzanian children who won't need to fear the primary causes of pneumonia and rotavirus diarrhoea.

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GAVI/2012/Sala Lewis

Not forgetting the vaccines themselves: pneumococcal, which will protect children against the most prolific killer of under-fives in Tanzania.

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GAVI/2012/Sala Lewis

...and rotavirus, which offers protection from the main cause of fatal diarrhoea.

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GAVI/2012/Sala Lewis

Salma Kikwete, First Lady of Tanzania, administers the first dose of rotavirus vaccines to a Tanzanian baby, as Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, Minister of Health and Social Welfare watches.

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GAVI/2012/Sala Lewis

The rotavirus vaccine is administered orally by Dr Seth Berkley, GAVI CEO. Diarrhea is so common in Tanzania, there are dedicated pediatric wards for diarrhea patients.

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GAVI/2012/Sala Lewis

The pneumococcal vaccine was also administered to the waiting babies. Thanks to the Alliance's Advance Market Commitment (AMC), pneumococcal vaccine reached low-income countries just 18 months after being rolled out in developed countries.

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GAVI/2012/Sala Lewis

"Pneumococcal vaccines will be distributed in Tanzania thanks to the contribution of Italy," said Pierluigi Velardi, Italy's Ambassador to Tanzania, a leading creator and supporter of the pneumococcal AMC.

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GAVI/2012/Sala Lewis

"Honourable health workers - you are the true heroes of immunisation," said Dagfinn Hoybraten.

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GAVI/2012/Sala Lewis

"Vaccines are integral to preventing child deaths. The immunisation programme in Tanzania has been a model for all of Africa," said Alfonso Lennhardt, US Ambassador to Tanzania, seated next to Seth Berkley.

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GAVI/2012/Sala Lewis

The nationwide roll out of the two vaccines will start in January. Tanzania is the 12th GAVI-eligible country to introduce rotavirus vaccines into its national immunisation program.

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