To Optimize COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout, Listen to Health Workers

This story originally appeared on PATH’s website. Below is an excerpt.

Frontline immunization workers in Kenya and Zambia are now helping to determine how the World Health Organization’s (WHO) model universal packaging and labeling for COVID-19 vaccines will vary from the standard operating procedures they currently use, and how to best accelerate vaccine distribution where they live.

“The vaccine label may seem like a small detail, but it’s a small detail that can make big waves in an immunization campaign,” said Dr. Kayaya. “We need to get it right, so we went straight to the people who know how to do it right, and we asked what they thought.”

First, health workers used an online survey to provide feedback on a sample label. Then, they participated in focus groups to discuss the prototype cartons and vials. Working through various immunization and supply scenarios, they analyzed the packaging to identify the label information and training they would need for proper storage, handling, and dosing.

For most participants, vaccine labels are more important than they might seem. In many cases, health care workers don’t have access to an informational leaflet or vaccine packaging, so the vial’s label is all they have.

“It is important the vial label is clear and distinct,” said one nurse in Kakamega County in Kenya. She said different vaccine vials often look very similar to each other, which can cause confusion.

Many others agreed that effective labeling helps them feel confident in their ability to distribute vaccines safely and efficiently and can help manage patients’ concerns or skepticism.

For many in the focus groups, a clear, effective label should contain dosing information, handling instructions, a batch number, vaccine vial monitors to detect heat exposure, and an expiration date.

Read the full story here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Delivering 270M+ COVID-19 vaccines at just $0.29 per dose: The Bangladesh experience

Bangladesh launched its COVID-19 vaccination program in February 2021 with the ambitious aim of reaching 80% of the population with two doses. The program used a phased approach, initially targeting priority groups, and expanding eligibility over time as supply ramped up. By June 2022, the country had achieved its goal—having delivered over 270 million COVID-19 … Read More

New evidence on the costing the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines in Mozambique and the Philippines

ThinkWell has released two new reports on the cost of delivering COVID-19 vaccines in Mozambique and the Philippines, aiming to support governments and address the knowledge gap on the cost of these vaccination programs. In partnership with the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane and Ateneo de Manila University, ThinkWell conducted retrospective, bottom-up costing studies, as well as … Read More

📣 Lessons from Moldova on the Use of Pharmacists to Increase Demand for COVID-19 Vaccinations

When the COVID-19 vaccines first launched in Moldova, vaccine confidence across the country was low, particularly among target populations. To combat this, Moldova launched a national campaign using pharmacists to increase awareness, confidence, and coverage of the vaccines. Linked recently sat down with Oxana Constantinova, Doctor Epidemiologist, Center for Public Health, Moldova, to understand the … Read More