Dar es Salaam – The Tanzanian government opened a new chapter in the fight against COVID-19 today with the launch of the Initiative for Global Vaccine Access (Global VAX), a $25 million initiative to turn COVID-19 vaccines in vials into vaccinations in arms.
Minister of Health and Social Welfare Ummy Mwalimu and United States Ambassador to Tanzania Dr. Donald Wright attended the Global VAX national launch at the Mwembeyanga in Dar es Salaam.
Global VAX aims to rapidly accelerate vaccination rates, supporting the Government of Tanzania to reach its goal of vaccinating 60 percent of eligible people. Specifically, the initiative will ensure hard-to-reach and rural populations have access to vaccinations; strengthen health care workers’ ability to support vaccination efforts; and monitor vaccine safety, data, and analytics.
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. It 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. The U.S. government is the largest vaccine donor to Tanzania and has already donated nearly five million vaccines to date, with more on the way.
As part of this effort, on March 3, 2022, during a call between Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan and USAID Administrator Samantha Power, Power announced USAID’s plans to program an additional $25 million to help Tanzania achieve its COVID-19 vaccination goals. This is in addition to $5.3 million being programmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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.
In his remarks, Ambassador Wright congratulated Tanzania for being selected as one of the handful of countries to receive a surge of resources through Global VAX, and said the U.S. was committed to supporting Tanzania in its fight against COVID-19.
“As we cope with the various COVID-19 variants that have affected every country around the globe, we are reminded that none of us is safe until we are all safe. We must not let down our guard until everyone who is eligible and able receives the COVID-19 vaccine,” remarked Ambassador Wright.