Tanzania Surpasses 10% COVID-19 Vaccination Milestone

Last week, United Republic of Tanzania surpassed the 10% (with a primary series of two doses) COVID-19 vaccination milestone, commendable progress in curbing vaccine inequity and protecting lives.

Despite commencing COVID-19 vaccination after a majority of countries, Tanzania’s government and stakeholders have moved fast to ensure coverage across the vast country amidst competing health priorities.

Tanzania has since received over 19 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from the COVAX Facility. COVAX is the major supplier of COVID-19 vaccines to Tanzania and the African continent.

The country has adopted several strategies in partnership with stakeholders such as Gavi and UNICEF for awareness raising campaigns and incorporating COVID-19 vaccination into routine immunisation campaigns.

Tanzania can also serve as a model for integration of routine immunisation COVID-19 vaccination. In April 2022, the country integrated COVID-19 vaccination with routine immunization for Polio, maximizing the impact of both activities to reach more people. These efforts have seen Tanzania move fast to vaccinate over 10 million people, resulting in 17% of the population fully vaccinated – or around 29% of adults and adolescents.

In 2021, the country also registered progress in Polio vaccine coverage (PoI3) among 1-year-olds according to the latest WHO/UNICEF Estimates of National Immunization Coverage (WUENIC). Pol3 coverage grew to 70% in 2021 compared to 65% in 2020.

Thabani Maphosa, the Managing Director of Country Programmes at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which leads on procurement and delivery at scale for COVAX, comments on Tanzania’s progress:

Tanzania has surpassed 10% of its population with two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, an important milestone in the efforts to curb vaccine inequality and quickly moved to reach more than 10 million people, or nearly a third of all adults and adolescents in the country. The progress is remarkable as the country started vaccination after a majority of countries.  

Tanzania has also adopted strategies such as integrating COVID-19 vaccination into other routine immunization campaigns, a great example of how integrated services can help provide more people with access to lifesaving tools, and how investments made in COVID-19 can support routine programs.  

Through the COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership – Gavi, UNICEF and WHO – along with partners such as the African Union and World Bank are providing coordinated, tailored support to governments, focusing on urgently overcoming delivery bottlenecks to turn vaccines into vaccinations. 

Gavi remains committed to supporting Tanzania in its efforts to strengthen and expand coverage, reaching more people with the lifesaving power of vaccines.”

Facts and Figures:

    • In January 2022, 34 countries were below 10% coverage with two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. With Tanzania milestone today, that number is 11.
    • Over 632 million doses have been delivered by COVAX to the African continent, supporting vaccination efforts in 46 countries.
    • In total, COVAX has now shipped over 1.56 billion COVID-19 vaccines to 146 countries across the world. Nearly 90% of these have been fully funded doses delivered to lower-income countries supported by the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).
    • Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has been supporting immunization in Africa since 2000.

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