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By Henry Neondo

Tanzania has maintained a sustained COVID-19 Vaccination rollout in recent months to surpass the milestone of fully vaccinating 50 percent of its total population.

The remarkable increase from less than 10 percent coverage with a primary series in January 2022 is a result of continued efforts by the government and health stakeholders in rolling out relevant strategies to sustain COVID-19 vaccination amidst competing health priorities – and a tribute to the value and commitment of health-care workers and community volunteers who literally went the extra mile to reach the population.

The country has also aimed to integrate COVID-19 vaccination with routine immunisation, as seen in the recent integrated measles campaign in the Katavi Region in February this year. The country has additionally relied on innovative approaches such as civil society partnerships with government to raise awareness and combat hesitance.

Dr. Derrick Sim, Acting Managing Director of the COVAX Facility, the global effort to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, said Tanzania has developed some highly innovative approaches on how to roll out COVID-19 vaccines and at the same time, catch up on routine immunisation programmes.

“The country’s progress and commitment shown by the government and partners to protect people against COVID-19 is commendable and demonstrates that countries can develop the ability to deal with multiple immunisation priorities at the same time. Vaccines remain our best tool against severe disease, hospitalization, and death – protecting people and ensuring health systems are able to handle other priorities.”

Among the innovative approaches by Tanzania include an initiative by Access-Challenge, a local civil society organisation that saw taxi operators at the forefront of mobilizing communities to fight vaccine hesitancy and drive vaccine uptake.

“We have found that innovative approaches such as working with influencers from all sectors of society, engaging tuk tuks /bajajis (three-wheeled taxis) , and creating community-based vaccination events were key drivers in reaching a larger audience and getting more people vaccinated. Having achieved 50% vaccination coverage, Tanzania is a great example that highlights the power of the right government leadership, partnerships, and multi-sectoral collaboration to advance critical public health goals. When all sectors of society come together, great progress is made, and this is evident through our campaign that has been able to reach over 38 million people across the country,” Asad Lilani, Director of Political Strategy and Tanzania Campaign Lead.



Source of original article: Africa Science News (
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