Despite starting the national COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in June 2021, coverage remained low in Chad in early 2022, with 0.8% of the population fully vaccinated and 26% of doses received being administered.
In January 2022, Chad was considered one of the 13 “very high-risk” countries as per the WHO AFRO risk assessment of slow vaccination roll-out, and included in the list of priority countries for the multi-partner country support team (MP-CST) initiative.
As part of this initiative, WHO AFRO deployed one immunization expert, one data manager and one epidemiologist to support the Government’s efforts to scale up COVID-19 vaccinations. With the expert support, the Ministry of Health updated and validated the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP), which provided a situation analysis and outline of strategies to address identified challenges to COVID-19 vaccination roll-out.
During the campaign, a total of 1 901 992 J&J vaccine doses were administered in 10 days, that is, 190 200 doses administered per day versus 1500 doses administered per day prior to the campaign. The percentage of health workers and older adults (65 years and above) fully vaccinated increased from 23% and 0.7% before the campaign to 59% and 12% after the campaign respectively. In addition, 20 916 refugees and 13 586 nomads were vaccinated.
Critical factors to the campaign’s success included:
- Updating of the NDVP, to consider the needs of individuals and communities and address access barriers to immunization services due to age, health status (comorbidities), location, social and cultural factors;
- Adequate resource mobilization from partners such as Gavi, the World Bank, UNICEF and WHO, which ensured availability of adequate resources for the campaign activities;
- The strong commitment of the Minister of Health and the involvement of the provinces, districts, and health institutions;
- Local recruitment of vaccination staff and the involvement of religious, military, police, traditional and community leaders as partners, which contributed to reduce hesitancy and improve demand.
Despite making significant strides in the last four months, Chad is still far from achieving the national target of vaccinating 48% of its population by December 2022 and the global target of vaccinating 70% of its population by the end of June 2022. Additional efforts will be needed to further protect more of the country’s population against COVID-19 through vaccination.
Read the full article (page 17): COVID-19 vaccination in the WHO African Region - 7 June 2022 | WHO | Regional Office for Africa
Photo: A traditional Chief getting vaccinated in the presence of the Minister of Health (third from right) at the launch of the vaccination campaign. (Credit: WHO/AFRO)