September 2021: Partner News Roundup

A collection of campaign stories captured and curated by Linksbridge SPC


Featured Stories

Several states in Nigeria conducted polio campaigns this month: Alimosho LGA in Lagos state kicked off the first round of a novel oral polio vaccine (nOPV) campaign September 21, and Kaduna state ran a polio campaign September 11-14, reaching children age 5 and under through house-to-house visits and fixed sites in the community. Katsina state’s next round of polio immunization took place September 18-21, while Federal Capital Territory (FCT) kicked off the second round of its polio outbreak response September 13 in the area councils of Abaji, Abuja Municipal, Bwari, Kuje, and Kwali. Following the first round in August, Abaji, Bwari, and Kwali passed the end process evaluation, while Abuja Municipal and Kuje area councils had to undertake mop-up exercises to meet the required coverage. Alimosho Today; Leadership NGA; The Nation


Spotlight on Covid-19 Campaigns

Eight in 10 countries in Africa will miss WHO’s goal of vaccinating the most vulnerable 10% of their populations by the end of September. Only 39 million people—around 3% of the continent’s inhabitants—are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Vaccine supply security and uncertainty around deliveries have not only been a significant impediment, but “the longer the delay in rolling out the vaccines, the greater the risk of additional challenges emerging such as variants, hesitancy, operational gaps or other threats.” WHO estimates that Covid-19 vaccine shipments to Africa must rise over sevenfold—from around 20 million per month to 150 million per month, on average—if the continent is to fully vaccinate 70% of its people by September 2022. WHO AFRO (1); WHO AFRO (2)

Vaccine hesitancy continues to hinder campaign progress: Tanzania’s vaccination campaign is lagging due to fear and misinformation spread by social media and political figures over the vaccine’s safety. The campaign started in August with plans to vaccinate 60% of the population, but only around 300,000 people—about 0.5% of the population—have been fully inoculated so far. Côte d’Ivoire faced similar issues when it started its vaccination campaign in March, but the government responded through a nationwide awareness-raising campaign: deploying mobile clinics and enlisting the support of influencers and religious and community leaders. These efforts against vaccine misinformation helped the country increase vaccinations from 2,000 per day to 20,000 per day. QZ; World Bank

On September 16, Cuba became the first country to launch a vaccination campaign for children as young as age 2, after “the circulation of the Delta variant led to an increase in infections among the youngest.” The country plans to administer its homegrown Soberana vaccine to children ages 2-5 in clinics and ages 6-10 through schools. Al Jazeera; MSN

Chile, China, El Salvador, and the UAE also recently announced plans to launch targeted campaigns for children. Chile will immunize children age 6 and older with Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine, China will vaccinate children age 3 and older with the same product, El Salvador will vaccinate kids age 6 and older, and the UAE will inoculate 3-year-olds with a Sinopharm vaccine. CNN

For more information on Covid-19 vaccines, please check out the Linksbridge Covid-19 Vaccine Dashboard for details on R&D pipeline, product candidates, developers, and sponsors.


Outbreak Response

The Democratic Republic of the Congo declared an outbreak of meningitis in the northeastern Tshopo province, which has reported 261 suspected cases and 129 deaths—a high case fatality rate of 50%. In 2016, the province ran a mass vaccination campaign for meningitis (vaccinating more than 1.6 million people ages 1-29), but the effort targeted meningitis A rather than serogroup W, which is behind the present outbreak. A reactive campaign is being planned using a vaccine containing meningococcal W antigen. WHO DRC; Devex

Pakistan conducted its third nationwide polio campaign this year, targeting over 40 million children under age 5. More than 290,000 frontline workers went house to house from September 17-21 to distribute oral polio vaccine drops and Vitamin A supplements. Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme


Local Campaigns

India’s Bihar state launched its annual mass drug administration (MDA) against lymphatic filariasis on September 20. Health workers will conduct door-to-door visits and administer the anti-filarial medicines diethylcarbamazine citrate and albendazole (DA) in 22 districts: Araria, Banka, Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Buxar, East Champaran, West Champaran, Gopalganj, Jehanabad, Jamui, Kaimur, Katihar, Khagaria, Madhepura, Munger, Muzaffarpur, Patna, Saharsa, Saran, Sitamarhi, Siwan, and Supaul. The state has yet to decide the date for the second MDA round in the remaining 16 districts. Bihar state ran its last MDA in 11 districts in September and October 2020, but rounds planned for May 2021 were canceled due to the second wave of Covid-19. Hindustan Times; Times of India

India’s Bihar state also ran a pulse polio campaign September 26-30, targeting children in remote places and in areas with migrant and traveling populations. Jalandhar district ran a similar pulse polio campaign September 26-28, targeting 131,761 children ages 5 and under in “slum” areas, brick kilns, and migrant/industrial labor settlements. The Indian Nation; The Tribune

Pakistan ran a school-based deworming drive August 30-September 7 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), targeting 574,000 children in 2,000 government and private schools, as well as in Deeni Madaris (seminaries). Other school-based deworming campaigns are taking place in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Sindh August-October 2021, targeting approximately 15 million school-age children across Pakistan. WHO EMRO; Dawn

Uganda implemented phase three of its oral cholera vaccine (OCV) campaign September 6-10 in six high-risk districts (Busia, Kasese, Madi Okollo, Namayingo, Ntoroko, and Obongi). The campaign aimed to reach all residents age 1 and older. Uganda MoH; Chimp Reports

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