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LNCT Member Newsletter April 2021

LNCT UPDATES

NEW RESOURCE DOCUMENT: Mobilizing Resources for Immunization in Decentralized Health Systems: A Desk Review of LNCT Country Experiences
As Gavi financial support decreases and countries take on a higher proportion of the financing of immunization, they must mobilize not only the funding needed for vaccines, but also funding for critical operational costs, including cold chain and logistics, service delivery, social mobilization, health promotion, and more. In countries with decentralized health systems, responsibility for these functions (and the requisite funding) rests not only with central authorities, but also with subnational authorities. This resource document, produced by LNCT, extensively outlines the ways in which immunization programs are affected by decentralization, including the roles and responsibilities of the subnational and national governments and funding allocation and disbursement bottlenecks, with rich examples from LNCT countries. The document can be used to identify strategies to address common challenges faced by immunization programs when implementing in a decentralized context.

New Video Case Studies Demonstrate the Power of Storytelling in Combatting Vaccine Hesitancy
LNCT, in collaboration with our partners Common Thread, is pleased to announce the launch of two new video case studies on vaccine demand in Vietnam. The stories detail the immunization journeys of young mothers Cha and Do through short films to be used for health worker capacity building. The case studies were launched during a webinar held on March 18th with key lessons learned outlined in this recent companion blog. LNCT is making these films available for anyone to adapt to their own country’s health worker trainings on communications, demand generation, and assessing the barriers to immunization. An accompanying facilitator’s discussion guide is also available to be used for training purposes. The films and facilitator’s guide are available in English, French, Portuguese, and Russian. Access all the related materials, including the videos, facilitator’s guide, and webinar recording, on the LNCT website here.

Third Module of LNCT’s Online Course on Vaccine Hesitancy and Demand Generation Now Publicly Available
The third module of LNCT’s online course on vaccine hesitancy and demand generation, “Building knowledge and awareness about immunization amongst caregivers and families” is now available to the public in English, French, Portuguese, and Russian. After completing the module, participants will have the tools and skills to build knowledge and awareness in an evidence-based and innovative way and effectively respond to rumors, misinformation, and disinformation. The course is free and takes approximately 3 hours to complete. It can be accessed by clicking here and creating an account.

LNCT Workshop Will Soon Bring Together Countries for Collaborative Problem Solving and Discussions Around Decentralization
Between 20-22 April, LNCT countries will gather virtually to discuss programmatic and fiscal challenges and collaboratively develop strategies for immunization programs in decentralized countries. Materials from the virtual workshop, including recordings and presentations will be made available on the LNCT website.

LATEST ON COVID-19

COVID-19 Vaccine Introduction Toolbox
WHO’s COVID-19 vaccine introduction toolbox equips all countries to prepare for and implement COVID-19 vaccination by providing guidance, tools, and training. This toolbox is intended to support Ministries of Health, health workers, partner organizations, and other stakeholders. 

Tools and Resources for Generating Acceptance and Demand for COVID-19 Vaccines
WHO’s demand generation tools offer practical guidance to support planning and implementation for COVID-19 vaccination. Topics range from demand planning to generating data to community engagement strategies.

Deploying the COVID-19 Vaccine: Where, When and How?
This webinar, held in early March, focused on select national vaccination strategies and answered the following three questions: 1. how does the optimal COVID-19 vaccine implementation strategy depend on country circumstances?, 2. how does the effectiveness of a vaccine strategy depend on other interventions (such as testing)?, and 3. how do the new SARS-CoV2 virus variants affect the desirability and feasibility of international cooperation on vaccines? The materials from the webinar, including the recording, can be viewed on the World Bank website here.

Materials from Series of Webinars Focused on COVID-19 Vaccine Procurement
The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator’s Country Readiness and Delivery (CRD) workstream, Project ECHO, Boost, TechNet-21, and the COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Project have produced a series of video-conference-based capacity building webinars. 

  • Indemnification & Liability: This webinar provided key information and updates on COVID-19 vaccine indemnification and liability through the COVAX Facility and outlined how countries can access support as they develop their national legislation. The webinar recording is available in EnglishFrench, and Spanish.
  • Regulatory and Procurement Aspects for COVID-19 Vaccines: This webinar provided key information and updates on regulatory and procurement key aspects to streamline COVID-19 vaccine deployment and explored the process for countries to prepare for market authorization or waivers for COVID-19 vaccines. The webinar recording is available in EnglishFrench, and Spanish.

COUNTRY SPOTLIGHTS

To Optimize COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout, Listen to Health Workers
Read about how health care workers in Kenya and Zambia are helping design vaccine preparedness and distribution plans. The health workers will help determine appropriate packaging and labeling for COVID-19 vaccines to ensure trust and boost confidence.

The Ins and Outs of Kenya’s COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Plan
Reaching the goals of Kenya’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan requires the best possible interaction between public and private healthcare sectors. Read key insights into the country’s COVID-19 vaccine strategy and the inclusion of private companies in vaccination programs in a recent interview with Catherine Kyobutungi, Executive Director of the African Population and Health Research Center.

Georgia to Launch COVID-19 Vaccine Communications Campaign to Address Hesitancy Issues
Georgia launched the COVID-19 vaccination in March with the goal to vaccinate at least 60% of its adult population. Key stakeholders in the country, involving more than 100 experts and civil society representatives, worked with the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDCPH) to develop the National Vaccine Deployment Plan (NVDP), which was approved in January. Even through this strong stakeholder engagement, experts will now have to grapple with the rising issue of vaccine hesitancy in order to reach the goals set out in their NVDP. Find out how Georgia is using a vaccine communications campaign to address these hesitancy issues in our recent blog

Drone Delivered COVID-19 Vaccines Take to the Air
The first deliveries of up to 2.5 million doses of COVAX vaccines by autonomous drone began in Ghana in early March thanks to a partnership with Zipline. Find out how months of communication with the COVAX facility were galvanized and put into play in just over 12 hours.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR PARTNERS

Blog Series on Market Intelligence for Action: Preparing for Gavi-Transition  
This three-part blog series, developed by LNCT partners from CHAI and WHO, demonstrates how market intelligence can be used to ensure that Gavi-transitioning and -transitioned countries have continued access to affordable and high-quality vaccines.

  • Part 1 covers Gavi transition’s impact on vaccine procurement and the critical role of market intelligence
  • Part 2 outlines market intelligence resources for vaccine product choice and price
  • Part 3 discusses market intelligence resources for product access and implementation strategies

Welcome Boost for Routine Vaccination through Pragmatic Financial Management
In Nigeria, the dual challenge of low coverage and inequitable access, particularly in the northern part of the country, has led to low immunization coverage, making the populous nation one of the largest contributors to the global burden of vaccine-preventable illnesses and deaths (VPDs). Lack of political will, insufficient organizational capacity and inadequate funding were some of the biggest barriers to the success of routine immunization, and the root cause of many weaknesses in the system. Key stakeholders in the country collaboratively developed a plan to assess and overcome these barriers. The innovative strategies employed successfully secured two of the most sought-after elements in health development – political will and dedicated financial resources. Read more about the assessment and financial management strategies in this recent Boost Community bright spot.

Coming Soon: Sabin’s Immunization Advocates’ New Podcast, Community Conversations on Vaccines
Sabin’s new podcast, Community Conversations on Vaccines, will explore immunization in low- and middle-income countries through interviews with on-the-ground health workers and journalists. Subscribe today to be the first to hear expert testimony on community barriers to vaccination, including social inequity, issues with communication and the infodemic. Expert guests also discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected vaccine acceptance and demand and routine immunization. Available wherever you get your podcasts (including Apple Podcasts and Spotify).

FEATURED RESOURCES

Vaccine Misinformation Management Field Guide
Learn how to address the global infodemic through the development of strategic and well-coordinated national action plans to rapidly counter vaccine misinformation and build demand for vaccination. The guide is available in English and French with a version in Portuguese coming soon!

The Little Jab Book: 18 Behavioral Science Strategies for Increasing Vaccination Uptake
While the COVID-19 vaccines have given the world hope that the pandemic’s end is in sight, we now face another challenge:  ensuring enough people actually get vaccinated to quell the disease. The Little Jab Book provides 18 strategies – derived from the behavioral sciences – that can be applied to increase uptake throughout the vaccination process.

LOOKING AHEAD

Regional Webinars on COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout to be Held
LNCT is organizing regional webinars on the topic of COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout to be held throughout April and May. Participants from LNCT countries will shape the discussion by providing context in a pre-webinar survey about their specific challenges and concerns. During the webinar, participants will have time to ask questions regarding challenges and effective strategies related to vaccine roll-out in their countries. Keep an eye out for invitations!

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