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  1. frederik copper
  2. Programme management
  3. Tuesday, 09 March 2021

As the world starts the largest vaccine roll-out against COVID-19, WHO and partners are helping countries to develop and implement Covid-19 vaccine Simulation Exercises (SimEx) to prepare for vaccine arrival and deployment. A recent commentary published in the Lancet Global Health, urges countries to use vaccine simulation exercises to test planning assumptions before national roll out starts. This will help countries prepare and to be ready to carry out unprecedented mass vaccination, including having procedures in place for national regulatory agencies to approve vaccines for emergency use; coordination systems between national regulatory agencies and import control entities; communication strategies to address rumours and misinformation to combat vaccine hesitancy; systems for the monitoring and management of adverse events following immunisation; and logistics and delivery systems for maintaining cold chains. 

To ensure countries have the best chance of a successful COVID-19 vaccine deployment, WHO with COVAX partners have developed two COVID-19 vaccine-specific tabletop exercise simulation packages to test planning assumptions before national vaccine roll-out.

The first exercise focuses on regulatory and safety issues so that countries can test their regulatory frameworks and systems for granting the emergency approval of vaccines or exploring how they might rely on WHO's prequalification and emergency use listing, as well as procedures and oversight for monitoring vaccine safety after it is deployed. The participants could be from national regulatory agencies, medical standards and regulations agencies, and departments for monitoring the safety of new vaccines post-introduction. The second tabletop exercise focuses on strategy, supply chain, and communications to help countries identify the target populations and test vaccination strategies, manage supply chains, and prepare communication plans to promote vaccine acceptance and uptake. The participants could be decision-makers, logisticians, warehouse managers, freight services personnel, communication specialists, vaccinators, health promotion and behaviour change specialists, and community leaders. For both exercises, the participants will represent their actual roles and respond as if in a real situation.

The WHO COVID-19 SimEx  packages should be adapted to the national conext and background and can be downloaded here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/training/simulation-exercise

The Lancet Vaccine SimEx commentary on the benefits and relevance of using vaccine exercises can be found here: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(21)00051-6/fulltext

References
  1. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(21)00051-6/fulltext
  2. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/training/simulation-exercise
frederik copper Accepted Answer

Thanks Mariam,

 

Yes multiple countries have already conducted vaccine SimEx before the national roll out and more are planning to run such vaccine exercises.

I am putting some examples of countries who already conducted vaccine exercises with more information and the results in below links, including:

Moldova exercise

Mauritius exercise

LAO PDR exercise

India exercise

 

Regarding the resources needed to plan and run these types of exercises, WHO has two pre-developed  vaccine table top exercise (TTX) packages developed. This includes one focussed on the regulatory and safety issues and the 2nd vaccine TTX focusses on the strategy, supply chain and communication aspects. This exercise material should be adapted and customized to meet the national context and need.

Please find the entire packages here: COVID-19 Vaccine exercise packages

 

Hope this helps but let me know if you require more information or specific support.

 

Best regards,

Fred

References
  1. https://www.euro.who.int/en/countries/republic-of-moldova/news/news/2021/3/republic-of-moldova-prepares-for-covid-19-vaccine-deployment
  2. https://www.afro.who.int/news/mauritius-kick-started-covid-19-vaccination-training-health-workers?country=42&name=Mauritius
  3. https://www.who.int/laos/news/detail/01-03-2021-lao-pdr-prepares-for-roll-out-of-covid-19-vaccines
  4. https://www.who.int/india/news/feature-stories/detail/preparing-the-largest-state-health-system-for-covid-vaccine-introduction-an-update-from-uttar-pradesh
  5. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/training/simulation-exercise
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Programme management
  3. # 1
Mariam Zameer Accepted Answer

Thanks for posting this, Frederik. Is there a demo for this simulation? Has it been run in any countries and what were the results? What resources, people, data etc. are needed to run this simulation?

Please share some more information, so we can assess if it is feasible to run the simulation. I am not able to find the relevant information on the WHO page or the Lancet article. 

  1. more than a month ago
  2. Programme management
  3. # 2


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