A rapid desk review of the available literature on COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Somalia and countries with similar context was conducted first; available secondary data of the COVAX vaccine rollout in Somalia was collected through stakeholder’s consultation and primarily from the Interactive Somalia COVAX Monitoring Delivery Dashboard5. To draw diverse perspectives and provide further understanding and insight into the COVID-19 vaccination data, unstructured interview guide was used to collect the primary data from 22 Key Informant Interviews (KII) of senior officials from the Federal and Federal Member State MoHs, public health practitioners, WHO staff, academics, vaccinators, religious and traditional leaders and members of the general public between April and May 2021.
Somalia COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Plan
In December 2020, the Federal Ministry of Health with the support of WHO and UNICEF developed COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Plan which set out strategies and activities to deliver COVID-19 vaccination programme in the country. To meet the conditions for COVAX assistance, a new regulatory agency for medicines and vaccines designated as the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) was created to provide the necessary assessment and authorization for the delivery of the new COVID-19 vaccines to ensure standards of safety and effectiveness.
Collaboration between the Federal MoH and FMS MoH has been a key part of the approach to realize a nation-wide vaccination programme. A steering committee, The National Vaccine Coordination Committee for COVID-19 comprising of the Director Generals of the MoHs at the Federal and FMS levels was formed to coordinate, implement and oversee the rollout.
COVAX supplied 300,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines to Somalia which were distributed to the Federal Member States, Banadir region and “Somaliland”. A ten days vaccination campaign was launched to offer the first vaccine dose to priority groups identified in the deployment plan. The vaccination programme delivery model was designed around utilizing a network of existing public health facilities and few private hospitals mainly in urban centers with the adequate capacity and experience to provide vaccination services.
5 SOMALIA COVAX Delivery Monitoring Dashboard. https://app.powerbi.com/view?r=eyJrIjoiZThhNzFmM zMtODZlNS00YzhlLTg2MTktOTNiOTFiNjUxYzU2IiwidCI
A mobile telephone based electronic registration system, CommCare, was introduced to record patient details and also used for vaccine safety surveillance,
i.e. monitoring of adverse events, and to communicate with vaccine recipients by sending SMS to remind them of their second doses.
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