“Guide to facilitate the implementation of the WHO/UNICEF “Guidance on developing a national deployment and vaccination plan for COVID-19 vaccines” for Africa
The Implementation Guide for COVID-19 Vaccines in Africa was co-developed by Africa CDC, public health experts from African Union Member States and sevral technical partners. The guide aims to complement the Guidance on developing a national deployment and vaccination plan for COVID-19 vaccines published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in providing information on the “How to” of implementing that guidance.
It contains action-oriented lists of critical topics to address and checklists tailored to the context of African Union Member States.
The contents of this guide aim to guide the development of one comprehensive national deployment and vaccination plan, as proposed and outlined by the guidance – and underlines the need for countries to develop their vaccination plans.
This guide is not meant as a tool to assess deployment readiness. The recommendation to Member States is to use the VIRAT/VRAF 2.0 tool for that, which builds on the COVAX Vaccine Introduction Readiness Assessment Tool (VIRAT) and the World Bank’s Vaccine Readiness Assessment Framework (VRAF).
The approaches, checklists and principles in this Guide provide practical guidance on how to address the gaps identified through the assessment, highlighting areas not covered by the Guidance on developing a national deployment and vaccination plan for COVID-19 vaccines and providing implementation guidance adapted to the African context.
The target audience of this implementation guide are Ministries of Health and authorities involved in the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines. It aims to provide information on the setup of national governance structures for the deployment (including offices and technical working groups) and to the members of those governance structures, once they have been appointed.
This guide will be complemented with practical information on the vaccine candidates, including logistics information, storage needs, etc. as more information becomes available. We encourage experts from Member States involved in the deployment, implementation and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccines to review the Guidance on developing a national deployment and vaccination plan for COVID-19 vaccines to understand the critical elements of a national deployment and vaccination plan. Member States participating in the COVAX Facility should also refer to the guidance and tools provided by the Facility and the partners involved. This implementation guide should be used as reference to ensure that national plans cover all relevant aspects of COVID-19 vaccination.