This article originally appeared on Gavi’s VaccinesWork website. Below is an excerpt.
Tanzania and Ethiopia both introduced HPV nationally for 14-year-old girls, with support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, in 2018. While 78% of eligible girls were reported to have received a first dose by the end of 2019 in Tanzania, second dose coverage stood at 49%. The COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated vaccination efforts. In 2021 Ethiopia launched a vaccination campaign for girls who missed out on either of the doses due to school closures.
Liya Haile, Country Director for Girl Effect in Ethiopia, says, “There are three key barriers to women getting vaccines. Gender barriers, including myths about how the vaccine affects women. There are social norm barriers, with girls feeling uncomfortable about going to health centres. And there are knowledge and logistical barriers, with many people not knowing what the HPV vaccine is for, or how to get it.”
Read the full article to learn how Gavi and Girl Effect are using community engagement, social media, TV drama, and other channels to improve awareness and uptake of the HPV vaccine in Ethiopia and Tanzania.