Tanzania Selected as a Surge Country for U.S. Government’s Initiative for Global Vaccine Access (Global VAX) Aimed at Boosting COVID-19 Vaccination

Global VAX will provide additional resources to support Tanzania’s national vaccination plan

The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will provide a surge of resources to Tanzania through the Initiative for Global Vaccine Access, or Global VAX, a U.S. government effort to turn COVID-19 vaccines in vials into vaccinations in arms. USAID Administrator Samantha Power shared Tanzania’s selection as a Global VAX surge country today in a meeting with Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

As part of this effort, USAID plans to program an additional $25 million in Tanzania. This funding will support activities to increase vaccination rates, including addressing vaccine confidence and demand and increasing the accessibility of vaccination sites. All interventions are being closely programmed with the Government of Tanzania, in line with Tanzania’s existing vaccination plans, and will help get vaccines to people quickly and equitably. This additional support builds on more than $42.1 million that USAID, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Defense, and Peace Corps has provided in Tanzania to respond to COVID-19. These investments help prevent, treat, and learn about the disease.

Global VAX is a U.S. government effort to help meet the global goal to vaccinate 70 percent of the world population against COVID-19 in 2022. Global VAX will surge support and resources to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines in an initial group of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Tanzania. Global VAX builds on President Biden’s commitment to donate more than 1.2 billion vaccine doses around the world by the end of 2022 and intensifies efforts to get shots in arms. As the largest vaccine donor to Tanzania, the U.S. government has already donated nearly five million vaccines doses, with additional doses to be delivered in the coming months.

As of February 24, 2022, over seven percent of eligible Tanzanians are fully vaccinated. This new investment aims to rapidly accelerate vaccination rates, helping the Government of Tanzania reach its goal of 60 percent of the eligible populations vaccinated by the end of June 2022.

Global VAX will also increase assistance and strengthen international coordination to identify and rapidly overcome vaccine access barriers. To date, the United States has already committed $1.7 billion to support vaccine readiness work.

On the call, U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania Donald Wright highlighted this investment as a further indication of the U.S. government’s long partnership with Tanzania. He stated, “This surge of new funds is possible in Tanzania because it builds upon our decades of investment in the health sector, utilizing our existing partnership and structures to rapidly reach Tanzanians with vaccines.”

The additional resources from Global VAX will be invested strategically to align with Tanzania’s ongoing efforts and help accelerate the national COVID-19 vaccination plan. USAID and its partners will work with Tanzania to bolster local health systems and help increase vaccine access among vulnerable and difficult-to-reach populations.