From exemplary mass-vaccination stations in Angola, to complex cold-chain logistics in Rwanda and model communications to boost trust in vaccines in Ghana, the World Health Organization (WHO) is documenting key lessons emerging from Africa's rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Vaccines Learning Agenda team are building a dynamic database of valuable information for African countries, and are set to create case studies on a range positive vaccine experiences and overcoming risks and challenges. So far, eight African countries have shared experiences in regional webinars to share knowledge and best-practices across borders.
"As Africa gears up for the next wave of COVID-19 vaccine shipments, the learning agenda tools and exchanges will help countries share what works and why, as well as documenting crucial lessons for the future. We're urging all African Health Ministries to share their experiences, whether they worked or not, with the ultimate aim of saving more African lives," says Learning Agenda team lead Chanda Chikwanda.
The beneficial lessons identified so far are categorized into four areas. They are early planning, delivering vaccines across the life-course, digital platforms and risk communications strategies. Key early challenges include the disruption of routine immunization, hesitancy to get the vaccine among health workers and communities and identifying priority populations for vaccination.
An electronic data capture form and a dynamic database have been developed to help collect and consolidate lessons and best practices from specific groups, and an open access microsite is also being developed to disseminate intermediate lessons and best practices more broadly.
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COVID-19 vaccines information officer