According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the largest-ever yellow fever emergency vaccination campaign successfully reached 7.7 million people in the city of Kinshasa of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The campaign was able to supply an emergency vaccine—which was equivalent to one-fifth of the full dose—to most of the targeted population of Kinshasa in less than 2 weeks. The WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunizations (SAGE) was responsible for determining this dose-sparing strategy in order to reach the maximum number of people, given their limited supply of vaccines.

The complexity of an emergency campaign such as this is estimated to have taken 6 months to plan and execute, says the WHO, with the goal of ending the transmission of yellow fever before the beginning of the rainy season in September.

In order to accomplish this, the WHO purchased and shipped 10 million specialized syringes and trained more than 40,000 vaccinators. More than 50 global partners, including the Ministry of Public Health and WHO, collaborated on logistics and planning necessary to reach more than 8000 locations across the country.

In a statement with a WHO representative in the DRC, Dr Yokouide Allarangar stated that “the WHO commends the government of the DRC for this significant achievement to roll out such a complex campaign in such a short period of time.”

Reference

Millions protected in Africa’s largest-ever emergency yellow fever vaccination campaign [press release]. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; September 2, 2016.

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