Close

The potential effects of deploying SARS-Cov-2 vaccines on cold storage capacity and immunization workload in countries of the WHO African Region.

Abstract

In the WHO African Region, SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaigns would substantially increase doses per vaccinator and cold storage capacity requirements over routine immunization baselines. Pandemic vaccination campaigns would increase storage requirements of national-level stores already at their limits, but sufficient capacity exists at subnational levels. Immediate attention to strengthening immunization systems is essential to support pandemic responses.

We assessed the effect of deploying SARS-Cov-2 vaccines on cold storage capacity and immunization workload in a simulated WHO African Region country using region-specific data on immunization, population, healthcare workers (HCWs), cold storage capacity (quartile values for national and subnational levels), and characteristics of an approved SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. We calculated monthly increases in vaccine doses, doses per vaccinator, and cold storage volumes for four-month SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaigns targeting risk groups compared to routine immunization baselines.

Administering SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to risk groups would increase total monthly doses by 27.0% for ≥ 65 years, 91.7% for chronic diseases patients, and 1.1% for HCWs. Assuming median nurse density estimates adjusted for absenteeism and proportion providing immunization services, SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaigns would increase total monthly doses per vaccinator by 29.3% for ≥ 65 years, 99.6% for chronic diseases patients, and 1.2% for HCWs. When we applied quartiles of actual African Region country vaccine storage capacity, routine immunization vaccine volumes exceeded national-level storage capacity for at least 75% of countries, but subnational levels had sufficient storage capacity for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines for at least 75% of countries.

SARS-CoV-2 vaccines will be deployed to countries with limited immunization systems.

MIDAS Network Members

Citation: