COVAX National Coordination Committee holds Meeting 2/2020

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Union Minister Dr Myint Htwe joins the virtual meeting of COVAX National Coordination Committee on 4 December 2020. Photo: MNA

The COVAX National Coordination Committee (CNCC) organized its 2/2020 meeting via videoconferencing on 4 December.
During the meeting, Union Minister for Health and Sports said this meeting is the last one between CNCC and National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) regarding the immunization plan between the second quarter of 2021 and 2022, target priority groups, the cost borne by Gavi- and the government, vaccines for target groups and the storage system before filling in the form of Gavi- the Vaccine Alliance which must be sent on 7 December.
The ministry discussed with the Gavi- the Vaccine Alliance in details on the vaccine to get as soon as possible and set plans for vaccination in accordance with target priority groups when the vaccine is available, he said.
The Union Minister also discussed the experience of ministry in immunization campaign especially in the expanded programme on immunization for 13 vaccines, preparations for ultra-cold storage, the reply of Gavi- the Vaccine Alliance to the country regarding with the type of vaccine, only 20 pc of the population are expected to get the vaccine as all the ordered vaccine cannot be received just in one time, communications with the Myanmar ambassadors in the US, UK, China and India which produce the vaccine to purchase the needed amount of vaccine, instructions of National-Level Central Committee on COVID-19 to buy the vaccine with the government budget and World Bank loan and the side effects of COVID-19 which show up instantly or some days after vaccination.
He also emphasized the awareness on the vaccine as it is produced in a form that has never been used before in the world, panic buying for COVID-19 vaccine all over the world, COVAX programme for Myanmar among 92 countries, vaccine distribution system in tranches and the duties of the public to keep following the health guidelines without fail as it is hard to receive herd immunity in the short term.
He also highlighted the educating programmes of COVID-19 for the public via media including the Adverse event following immunization (AEFI) and target priority groups based on the country’s health system, discussion with the relevant committee and working committees, keeping eyes on COVID-19 vaccine research news of international countries from the reliable sources, work plans with Gavi- the Vaccine Alliance via COVAX Facility, readiness assessment, vaccine procurement under a bilateral agreement, direct procurement system for private vaccine producers and budget estimate for COVID-19 vaccination plan.
Union Minister Dr Myint Htwe said the Ministry is keeping in touch with Gavi- the Vaccine Alliance, COVAX Facility, India, China, Russia, UK and US that are developing and testing the vaccine and will ensure to purchase the vaccine as soon as possible. He added the detail discussion with World Bank for the loan provisions to Myanmar and the submission of the discussion and suggestion of the Ministry to the COVID-19 Committee to continue the plan. He expressed words of thanks to the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group- NITAG for the suggestions to the Ministry.
Dr. Aung Naing Oo and Dr Aye Mya Chan Thar presented plans for systematic vaccination if COVID-19 vaccine is available and coordination with the relevant ministries. The presentation included to select the target population for the vaccine in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO); Financial forecasts for COVID-19 vaccination; Estimated cost per percentage of population to be vaccinated against COVID-19; Finance funding and loan availability; The success rate and availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is being researched worldwide; Discussion with companies developing the vaccines and with World Bank; Preparation of the vaccine storage system that requires extreme freezing cold-storage system; setting guidelines and information to ensure the safety of the public in case of using the vaccine in private sector and public donations; Selection of national preference for the 12 vaccine characteristics available through the COVAX Facility; to include health workers from the field of the COVID-19 treatment and aged elderly people who are at risk of life-threatening disease in the priority group for the vaccines and selection of regions/states with the highest number of deaths.
The members of the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group-NITAG also presented the success of the COVID-19 vaccine research around the world; Ineffective fake side effects of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccine; Private sector procurement issues and recommendation for systematic immunization during the vaccination period.
Afterwards, the Union Minister approved the application to be submitted to Gavi- the Vaccine Alliance by 7 December for access to the COVID-19 vaccine and coordinated the meeting.—MNA (Translated by Ei Phyu Phyu Aung, Khine Thazin Han)

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