COVID-19 vaccination

efforts in the MENA region


Infographic, January 2023
Nonresident Fellow

January 6, 2023

COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the MENA region

Following the release of several COVID-19 vaccines at the end of 2020, countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) struggled with the rollout of their vaccination campaigns. With time, however, many MENA countries have made progress in this regard. As of December 2022, over 42% of MENA’s population was fully vaccinated, compared to 32.5% of the global population. At the same time, only 49% of MENA’s population had received at least one dose (compared to 63% globally), suggesting that the region is failing to raise the rate of the fully vaccinated.

Wealthier countries in the region have led inoculation efforts in the region. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar have ensured that their total populations are fully vaccinated, while high rates (above 75%) are seen in Bahrain and Kuwait. Outside of the Gulf states, the highest rates of full vaccination are found in Iran (66%) and Morocco (63%). Most other countries hover around the regional average. Fragile states in the region maintain extremely low rates of vaccination and Egypt, the most populous country in MENA, has seen full vaccination rates level off at only 36%. Overall, as the pressures associated with COVID-19 have ebbed, progress toward full vaccination seems to have ceased, reflecting a global trend in this regard.