PATH, USAID and partners share progress in supporting Vietnam's COVID-19 vaccination campaign

June 16, 2022 by PATH

Within the first six months, the MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity project established 716 mobile vaccination sites and trained nearly 4,000 staff across five hard-to-reach, mountainous provinces: Dien Bien, Son La, Hoa Binh, Quang Nam, and Ninh Thuan. Overall, 397,863 people in last-mile communities were vaccinated at these mobile sites.

HANOI, June 16, 2022 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) hosted this week the mid-term review meeting for the MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity project. As an implementing partner of MOMENTUM in Vietnam, PATH and our partners showcased the initial achievements, shared challenges, and lessons learned in the effort to bring COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam's hardest-to-reach population.

The project aims to strengthen routine immunization programs to overcome the entrenched obstacles contributing to stagnating and declining immunization rates and address the barriers to reaching zero-dose and under-immunized children with life-saving vaccines. Within the first six months of the project, nearly 4,000 staff were trained and 716 mobile vaccination sites were established across the five hard-to-reach, mountainous provinces: Dien Bien, Son La, Hoa Binh, Quang Nam, and Ninh Thuan. Overall, 397,863 people in last-mile communities were vaccinated at these mobile sites.

Under MOMENTUM, Vietnam has accelerated the adaptation and revision of COVID-19 vaccination training materials from the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health to quickly conduct training sessions for both health and non-health staff involved in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the five project provinces. Additionally, in collaboration with the provincial EPIs, the project developed strategies to increase last mile vaccination based on situation analyses conducted in each province. A COVID-19 vaccination microplanning tool was adapted to support healthcare workers' plans for each vaccine arrival and for mobile vaccination sites to reach people outside of the health facilities.

The project also provides strategic technical support for COVID-19 vaccination and supports countries to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on immunization services. The project is implemented by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. along with PATH, Accenture Development Partnerships, Results for Development, Gobee Group, CORE Group, and The Manoff Group.

USAID/Vietnam’s Health Office Director, Ritu Singh, NIHE Director, Prof. Dang Duc Anh, Ph.D., and other leaders and healthcare officers from the Vietnam Ministry of Health, General Department of Preventive Medicine, National/Regional EPI offices, provincial Departments of Health, provincial Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, WHO, and UNICEF attended the review meeting.

During the event, Director Ritu Singh said "we were very happy to see the enthusiasm and the strong support of people. We hope that the results and lessons learned from USAID-supported activities will be shared, replicated, and maintained in other places in Vietnam."

Prof. Dang Duc Anh expressed his gratitude for the valuable and timely support from USAID through MOMENTUM to assist the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in those provinces. Prof. Dang emphasized the need for capacity building to ensure the safe and effective deployment of the newly introduced COVID-19 vaccine, especially in the context of an unprecedented national vaccination campaign. He highly valued the project’s support for microplanning in the provinces to help them improve vaccination coverage without leaving anyone behind.

Through the American Rescue Plan Act, USAID supports Vietnam’s COVID-19 response and helps accelerate equitable access to and delivery of safe and effective doses of COVID-19 vaccines. USAID also helps strengthen Vietnam’s health system's capacity to respond to COVID-19 and detect and monitor future disease threats.