The main objective for this strategic goal is to allow rapid dissemination of up-to-date information on vaccines and immunisation issues originating at global, regional and national levels, to HCWs working within EPI-SA. In order to achieve this, SAVIC has, since its inception, embarked on numerous networking activities that advocate for strengthening immunisation services in South Africa and in this way has expanded its partnerships locally and abroad. SAVIC is a faculty member of vaccinology courses and workshops regionally and internationally, and provides technical expertise in various meetings and events.

In order to remain at the cutting-edge of developments within the field of vaccinology, SAVIC members themselves attend advanced courses, conferences and workshops every year.

Furthermore, SAVIC members regularly participate in meetings to provide technical input and support, and participate in vaccination advocacy through community outreach campaigns, and mass media communication.

Activities Undertaken:
Technical support given by SAVIC members

  • National Advisory Group on Immunisation (NAGI): Meetings at the NICD, National Health Laboratory Services Campus, Sandringham. 27 February 2019, 29 May 2019, 28-29 August 2019 and 20 November 2019

  • National Immunisation Safety Expert Committee (NISEC): Meetings at the National Department of Health, Civitas Building, Pretoria. 18 March 2019, 3 June 2019 and 20 August 2019. Meetings at the WHO Country Office for South Africa, Francis Baard Street, Pretoria. 19 November 2019

  • EPI turn-around strategy and EPI Task Group Meetings (TGM), Gauteng: National task group meeting. 13-14 November 2019

  • National Immunisation Coverage Survey Steering Committee: Meeting at the NDoH, Civitas Building. 18 March 2019

Advocacy

  • National Vaccinators Forum: Prof Meyer serves on the Executive Committee of the National Vaccinators Forum

  • African Vaccination Week (22-28 April 2019): Prof Meyer was interviewed on the Breakfast Show of North-West FM Radio on 24 April 2019, and the Campus Wise Show of UNISA Radio on 25 April 2019

  • Other advocacy using mass media: SAVIC members were interviewed for articles _ Vrouekeur Magazine (March 2019); Women’s Health Magazine (March 2019); Sunday Times (14 April 2019 article on vaccine hesitancy); Kormorant (3 May 2019 article on influenza vaccination); Rapport (9 June 2019 article on measles outbreaks).

    In addition, Dr Famoroti was interviewed about viral hepatitis by Radio Pulpit on 25 July 2019, and Prof Burnett was invited to write three articles (one on fake news and two on vaccine hesitancy) for non-peer reviewed journals and magazines in 2019

Community Outreach

  • MPharm 2019 vaccination catch-up campaigns. 16, 17 and 24 August and 11 October 2019: 809 children were reached of whom 57% were vaccinated, 56% received vitamin A supplements and 53% received deworming agents
  • MPharm influenza vaccination campaign. 24-30 April 2019: 549 people received the flu vaccine: 488 at SMU, and 61 at Motha Haven (an old-age home in Tshwane)

Capacity building of SAVIC members

  • 8th FIDSSA Congress. Indaba Hotel & Conference Centre, Fourways, Johannesburg, South Africa. 7-9 November 2019

  • Vaccinology Scientific Meeting 2019. Mount Grace, Magaliesburg, 20-22 October 2019

  • EEMEA Vaccines Virtual Summit, Live-streamed from Algiers, Amman, Casablanca, Doha, Dubai and Johannesburg. Inter Continental Hotel, OR Tambo International Airport. 12 October 2019

  • Africa Pneumococcal Summit, Cape Town. 24-25 August 2019

  • Sanofi Nurses Focus Meeting Mount Grace, Magaliesburg. 24-25 August 2019

  • 12th African Rotavirus Symposium 2019. Emperor’s Palace, Johannesburg. 30 July-1 August 2019

  • Effective Vaccine/Cold Chain Management & Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) Workshop. AURUM Institute, Hatfield. 24-25 June 2019

  • Sanofi Pharmacy Focus Meeting. Mount Grace, Magaliesburg. 8-9 June 2019

  • South African Society of Clinical Pharmacy (SASOCP), Mpumalanga Branch, Continuing Professional Development Meeting. Nelspruit. 16 May 2019

  • Training of Trainers on AEFI Investigation Data Management, Causality Assessment & Vaccine Safety Communication for Anglophone Countries. Uganda. 29 April – 02 May 2019

Ongoing SAVIC network

SAVIC maintains a network of partners at national, regional and global levels. We have successfully collaborated with a number of South African universities and interacted with stakeholders such as the NDoH, WHO and the South African Nursing Council. Regional and international networking, including participation in national, regional and international meetings, were also achieved.

National Institutions

  • University of Pretoria
  • University of the Witwatersrand
  • University of South Africa
  • Tshwane University of Technology
  • NICD
  • University of Cape Town
  • Stellenbosch University
  • University of the Free State
  • University of Limpopo
  • Limpopo Nursing Colleges: Sovenga and Thohoyandou
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal National organisations
  • NDoH
  • Provincial Departments of Health
  • South African Military Health Services
  • South African Nursing Council
  • The Democratic Nursing Association of South Africa

Regional and international partners

WHO, UNICEF and NESI at the University of Antwerp, Belgium