Afro-Move network helps track COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness

**Brazzaville – **As COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out in Africa, understanding the effectiveness of these vaccines in real world settings is crucial for countries to plan and refine their vaccination programmes and other public health measures.

Through Afro-Move, a new network launched earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa, in collaboration with countries, is spearheading efforts to conduct studies assessing how well COVID-19 vaccines protect against disease and infection in real world settings.

The network builds on long-term collaborations in vaccinology and infection sciences across the WHO African region. It taps into the skills and infrastructure of influenza surveillance and monitoring systems and networks in Africa, including 15 National Influenza Centres.

Seventeen countries have joined so far, including ministries of health, national institutes of public health, research institutes, academia and humanitarian organizations that will work together to share experiences and expertise and to help standardize practices to compare and combine results.

So far the network has delivered:

The network will continue to strengthen African countries’ contributions to the global knowledge base on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. It also helps build up capacities and expertise in Africa to tackle future epidemics.

WHO, in collaboration with technical partners, has developed several standardized generic epidemiological investigation protocols that aim to support national public health and social measures, promote the international comparability of research and address gaps in current knowledge regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.