October 2022: Partner News Round-Up

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Citing a “strained global supply” of OCV, the International Coordinating Group (ICG) announced on October 19 a temporary suspension of the standard two-dose regimen in cholera outbreak response campaigns, opting for one dose instead. The ICG added that “urgent action is needed to increase global vaccine production.” WHO

Sierra Leone launched an HPV vaccination campaign on October 3 to reach 153,991 10-year-old girls and introduce the HPV shot into the country’s routine immunization schedule. The shots—two doses given over six months—will be administered in schools by 1,500 healthcare workers. WHO AFRO

Spotlight on Covid-19 Campaigns

WHO reported in late October that Covid-19 vaccination coverage has stagnated in half the countries in Africa. As of October 16, just 24% of the continent’s population had completed a primary vaccination series, compared to 64% globally. Although mass vaccination campaigns have been instrumental in boosting Covid-19 vaccine coverage—contributing to 85% of total doses administered in WHO’s African region—the number of people immunized has dropped significantly in the past few months. Reasons for dampening uptake include vaccine hesitancy and a low-risk perception of the pandemic, especially given the recent decline in cases. To galvanize campaign efforts, WHO is supporting countries as they assess their preparedness for immunization drives at provincial and district levels, helping them integrate Covid-19 vaccines in other planned mass vaccination campaigns, and deploying surge missions to countries as needed to improve vaccination drive quality. WHO

North Korea began a mass vaccination effort against Covid-19 in September, becoming one of the world’s final countries to do so. South Korea’s intelligence agency reported vaccine distribution in border areas, likely using Chinese-supplied shots. Eritrea is the only remaining country that has not started a mass vaccination campaign against the disease. WSJ

Outbreak Response

Ghana completed the second round of a polio vaccination campaign October 6-9, targeting over 7 million children under age 5 across all 16 regions of the country with nOPV2 drops. Border districts in Ghana also collaborated with counterparts in neighboring countries to successfully administer the vaccines. WHO Ghana

Pakistan’s Sindh province launched a weeklong polio immunization drive on October 25, targeting 6.6 million children in 21 districts, with a particular focus on flood-affected areas and on cases of vaccine refusal in Karachi. Dawn

Somalia began its fifth polio vaccination round of the year in October, targeting 4.75 million children under age 10 in 79 districts in the Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Jubaland and South West states and in the Banadir region. The previous campaigns—which included two rounds of countrywide national immunization days in March and June and two rounds of subnational immunization days in select high-risk districts in February and August—reached about 3.6 million children under age 5 (including 327,467 zero-dose children) and 2.4 million children ages 5-10. WHO Somalia

Nigeria’s Cross River state kicked off a measles vaccination campaign in late October in response to an outbreak in the Ogoja refugee camp. The drive seeks to immunize 700,000 children under age 5 through fixed posts and mobile teams targeting schools, markets, churches and other public places, in addition to a door-to-door effort. VON; Blueprint

Uganda’s Lamwo district started a monthlong mass immunization effort against measles in October, responding to an outbreak in several refugee settlements near the district’s border with South Sudan. The door-to-door campaign will target more than 15,000 children ages 6 months to 15 years in the Palabek refugee settlement, the Lokung refugee reception center, and neighboring subcounties of Lokung, Nyimur, Palabek Gem, Palabek Kal and Palabek Ogili. The Independent

Local Campaigns

Nigeria’s Sokoto state ran a malaria bed net campaign October 21-29, supplying 3 million insecticide-treated nets to all households in 23 local government areas. The country deployed 1,500 personnel for the distribution campaign. The Star

Syria launched an integrated polio, measles and rubella vaccination campaign on October 9, targeting children under age 5 in all governates, with a particular focus on camps and informal settlements. During the 10-day effort, nearly 9,500 health workers across 1,034 facilities and 793 mobile medical teams worked to reach 2.4 million children, especially in hard-to-access and remote areas. WHO EMRO

Nigeria’s Bauchi state kicked off a preventative measles and meningitis A immunization drive on October 20, targeting over 1.9 million children under age 2 across 20 local government areas. Vitamin A supplements will also be given to children ages 6 months to 5 years during the integrated campaign. Leadership NG

Zimbabwe began the first of two four-day national immunization drives against polio, responding to a surge of cases in neighboring countries. The first campaign was held October 27-30 and targeted all children under age 5 (irrespective of previous immunization status) with oral polio drops in a door-to-door effort. The second drive is slated for December 1-4. All Africa

Nigeria’s Zamfara state conducted an integrated immunization campaign October 27-November 3, aiming to vaccinate 795,556 children ages 5-9 months against measles and 327,587 children ages 10-11 years against meningitis, as well as offer vitamin A supplementation and Covid-19 vaccination. The campaign will be implemented in two phases: 10 local government areas (LGAs) in Phase 1 (Birnin Magaji, Bungudu, Gusau, Kaura Namoda, Maradun, Maru, Shinkafi, Talata Mafara, Tsafe and Zurmi), and four LGAs in Phase 2 (Anka, Bakura, Bukkuyum and Gummi). The Sun

Gambia conducted an integrated immunization drive October 18-23, targeting 341,446 children under age 5 with the measles-rubella vaccine and catch-up routine immunizations, in addition to Vitamin A supplements and deworming tablets. Vaccination teams and social mobilizers reached children at bantabas, daycare centers, ferry crossing points, health centers, markets, nursery schools and other strategic locations in the community. The Voice

Nigeria’s Osun state ran a measles vaccination effort October 6-11, targeting children under age 5 across 30 local government areas. The campaign integrated other routine immunizations and primary healthcare services. The Sun

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