WHO Asks Countries to Assess COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

According to WHO, Assessment this will help to spot areas for improvement to foster quicker administration of jabs.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has asked countries to conduct an internal assessment of their COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategies. According to WHO, this will help to spot areas for improvement to foster quicker administration of jabs.

This is because the first phase of Africa’s COVID-19 rollout saw several African countries unable to unlock funds for key expenses, including hiring vaccinators, cold-chain storage and logistics and transport and administration, by leaving them out of their costing plans. 

According to their latest statement, 620 million COVID-19 vaccine doses are set to arrive in Africa through the COVAX facility alone by the end of 2021 where countries will receive at different times, each with their unique storage, transport and administration requirements.

“It’s a huge and complex task, and we must plan well, ensure resources are in place and keep documenting, learning and sharing lessons as we go. Countries must also share all relevant data with WHO, as we use it to allocate vaccines, track progress and tailor our support,” says Dr Phionah Atuhebwe, New Vaccines Introduction Officer at WHO Regional Office for Africa.

She says Intra-action reviews will help countries find and fix key challenges quickly and keep learning and improving over time. The reviews can identify practical areas for immediate remedies, such as introducing vaccines to different priority groups, rolling out multiple vaccines, and in wider COVID-19 response reviews, putting the right public health and social measures in place. 

Already, the statement shows 11 countries have conducted the reviews whereas seven have indicated to be in the planning phase. Nine other countries have expressed interest in conducting the reviews although they have not yet presented definite plans on how they will conduct the exercise.

Now, for countries conducting the reviews,  WHO has come up with the COVID-19 Vaccine Introduction and Deployment Costing Tool (CVIC) which they say will help countries determine their funding needs.

 Once completed, African countries can request more resources through the WHO COVID-19 Partners Platform where a range of financing opportunities exists.

For example, Gavi, the vaccine alliance, recently approved a further US$ 775 million to deliver vaccines to low-income countries and the World Bank will provide over US$4 billion to purchase and deploy vaccines to 25 African countries.

Meanwhile, according to the latest figures, WHO lists South Africa to have absorbed most of the vaccines allocated to them at 90 percent. East Africa has administered 76 percent of their vaccines and West Africa is trailing at 38percent.