As the race to develop a safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19 grows stronger, the World Health Organization believes that “Africa is far from ready, for what will be the next. largest vaccination campaign ever carried out on the continent ”.
“The largest vaccination campaign in African history is about to be launched, and African governments urgently need to step up their preparedness,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa , cited by UN Info. For the WHO African Branch, the success of such an unprecedented campaign will depend on planning and preparation. A WHO analysis of the continent’s preparedness data shows that half of the countries have identified priority populations for immunization and have plans in place to reach them.
Only almost a quarter of countries on the continent have adequate plans for resources and funding, while 17% have data collection and tracking tools in place. Just 12% have plans to communicate with communities to build trust and generate demand for immunization. All 47 countries in the WHO African Region have received the WHO Covid-19 Vaccine Readiness Assessment Tool (VIRAT). This document, intended for ministries of health, provides a roadmap for countries to plan for the introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine. The mechanism covers ten key areas, including planning and coordination, as well as resources and financing. It also looks at the issue of vaccine-related regulations, delivery services, training and supervision, and monitoring and evaluation. The other component concerns logistics, vaccine safety and surveillance, communication and community engagement. According to the UN World Health Agency, only 40 countries have updated this tool and provided data to WHO. Analysis shows that, based on country reports, the African Region has an average score of 33% preparedness for coronavirus vaccine deployment. Which is below the 80% baseline. The WHO estimates the cost of deploying the Covid-19 vaccine on the African continent for priority populations at around $ 5.7 billion. This does not include additional costs of 15-20% for injection materials and vaccine delivery. This system requires trained health workers, a supply chain and the mobilization of communities. This amount is based on the COVAX mechanism’s estimates of an average vaccine price of US $ 10.55 per dose and that two doses will be required.