COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Webinar - Q&A and Discussion

DHIS2 experts held a presentation and discussion on the DHIS2 toolkit for COVID-19 vaccine delivery on Thursday, 3 December, from 13:00-14:00 Oslo time (UTC+1). You can watch a recording on our YouTube channel.

With several promising vaccines for COVID-19 in development, health authorities worldwide are faced with the challenge of how to facilitate equitable and safe distribution. The DHIS2 toolkit for COVID-19 vaccine delivery builds on established DHIS2 systems and tools to offer a modular, scalable and customizable approach to vaccination campaign management at the national and subnational level. This webinar will provide an overview of tools and approaches with time for Q&A.

If you have questions for the DHIS2 team about the vaccine delivery toolkit, please post them here.

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Here are the questions and answers that were covered during the webinar:

Q: If a country is to initiate the Routing Immunization module, what would be the next steps?
A: This depends on where countries are with the current setup of their routine immunization systems; whether they are already using DHIS2 for immunization and/or HMIS, and whether they have already adopted the WHO modules. If countries are already capturing routine immunization data through DHIS2 at facility level, the next steps would be to define what data will be captured from different service delivery points for COVID-19 – we will also be working toward a DHIS2 standard metadata package that aligns to WHO/global standards/recommendations, but these are not yet available. We will also try to release some prototype packages on a demo site before end of year to give countries a sense of how the data entry forms, indicators and dashboards may look. The most critical part is to understand how the data flows will work within the health system according to your national plan. If you do not already have a system in place, or need support, contact the HISP group in your region, or if you do not already have a HISP contact, email the core DHIS2 team at covid@dhis2.org.

Q: In regards to scale, for nationwide implementations in large countries (like India), is DHIS2 able to perform at large scale (thousands to millions of records per day)?
A: There are already several countries with DHIS2/Tracker systems at national scale, with millions of records. We are going to be doing more critical load and stress testing over the coming weeks to have a better idea of where the limits are, and will include this in the documentation. This is also very dependent on the configuration and the specs and of the server. We will provide guidance on hosting and server configuration to address these topics.

Q: The presentation has covered supply chain and implementation and rollout of the solution. Does the toolkit also cover capacity building for vaccinators, including certification?
A: We are not focused on capacity building for the workers / end users at this time. A lot of this will depend on the specific country implementation, and is best carried out by an implementation partner within a given country. At a global level, DHIS2 will provide generic training guides for end users that cover data entry and other operations, but these will need to be adapted by each country to align with local languages, system configurations, and work practices.

Q: Is there a way for the public to interact with the DHIS2 system to request a vaccine in varying supply and demand scenarios (more people who need vaccines than people, or vice versa)?
A: We have not really explored this use case yet, so it has not yet been built out in a generic way. DHIS2 is a very flexible platform that is interoperable with other platforms, which could be a way to link service delivery to the DHIS2 system. There are definitely areas where additional apps or tools may need to be implemented to complement the system. Figuring out the harmonized framework is an important part of country planning.

Q: Which version of DHIS2 supports the COVID-19 immunization module?
A: For aggregate components, we want to be able to support countries even it they are running a lower version. We are planning to support version 2.30 and newer, up to 2.35. For the Tracker data model, our recommendation is to upgrade to a more recent version of DHIS2 to take advantage of newer features and performance improvements, particularly those that have been introduced in 2.34 and 2.35. Since a lot of countries upgraded to 2.33 for the COVID surveillance packages, we are planning to make the COVID vaccine toolkit work with that version, but would recommend upgrading if possible. We would not recommend trying to run a large-scale Tracker implementation on 2.30.

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Thanks for sharing these, @maxk!

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