The first year of COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in Africa: challenges and lessons learned

Pan Afr Med J. 2022 Mar 29;41(Suppl 2):2. doi: 10.11604/pamj.supp.2022.41.2.33686. eCollection 2022.


Introduction: in the first year following the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines, only 6.8% of the total population in the 47 countries in the WHO African Region have received full vaccination. In an emergency context, the intra-action review helps countries to assess their progress and document what has worked and not worked.

Methods: we reviewed and identified the key lessons and challenges documented in the reports from intra-action review of COVID vaccine roll out in 22 African countries.

Results: all countries documented high level political commitment, but a serious shortage of COVID-19 vaccines and funding. Seven countries identified gaps in microplanning because of lack of funding or due to the unpredictability in the type and volume of vaccine supplies. The shortage of operational funding also affected training of health workers and hampered the expansion of service delivery. The countries implemented multi-channel communications and social mobilisation activities, alongside social media engagement and social listening. However, country capacity was limited in terms of timely responding to infodemics. Hesitancy among health workers and the general population was a challenge in most of the countries.

Conclusion: countries have gained valuable experiences exploring various COVID-19 vaccination delivery models, including implementing the integration of COVID-19 vaccination within routine health care programs. There is a need to regularly monitor or do studies measuring public perceptions towards COVID-19 vaccination in order to drive the demand generation efforts, as well as use evidence in addressing hesitancy.

Keywords: Africa; COVID-19; COVID-19 vaccination; pandemic prepared; pandemic response.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines*


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Vaccines