Malawi has surpassed the 10 per cent COVID-19 vaccination milestone (of total population, fully vaccinated), a noteworthy step in the protection of lives and towards ending vaccine inequity.
Since the start of COVID-19 vaccination in March 2021, the Malawi government, working together with stakeholders and partners including COVAX, has made effort to sustain COVID-19 vaccination across the country despite competing health priorities and social-economic challenges.
COVAX is the major supplier of COVID-19 vaccines to Malawi, having delivered over 5.3 million doses of vaccines as of September 8. This has helped the country vaccinate 83% of its frontline health care workers.
Malawi’s vaccination efforts have been driven by several strategies undertaken in partnership with stakeholders including door-to-door campaigns. The country has also kept up with other health priorities including routine immunisation.
Thanks to the efforts of the Ministry of Health for growing capacity over recent years, Malawi has concurrently been implementing oral cholera and polio campaigns, alongside COVID-19 vaccination.
In May 2022 Malawi, with support from WHO, Gavi and UNICEF, launched a cholera vaccination campaign targeting 1.9 million people aged one year and above with about 3.9 million doses available.
Dr. Richard Mihigo, Director of COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery, Coordination and Integration at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which leads on procurement and delivery at scale for COVAX, comments on this milestone:
“Malawi has now surpassed 10% of its population with two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. This milestone is hugely significant given the competing health priorities in the country whose health system is already stretched thin.
“Malawi’s government and health workers deserve praise for reaching this milestone while at the same time concurrently implementing oral cholera and polio campaigns which are likewise essential to the health of the nation.
“COVAX has enough supply available to ensure Malawi can meet its national vaccination target and through the COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership, Gavi and its partners will continue to focus resources and efforts on countries such as Malawi where delivery bottlenecks persist.
“We look forward to continuing this collaboration, working together to address vaccine inequity in Malawi.”