No one is safe until everyone is safe
Sustainable global protection from COVID-19 by 2022 by supporting country governments and frontline immunization workers to take the lead in equitably delivering COVID-19 vaccines.
Tens of millions of people have been infected, more than a million people have died, the estimated loss to global GDP over 2020 to 2021 attributed to the pandemic is $9 trillion USD, and the pandemic will likely cause an estimated 34 million people to fall below the extreme poverty line in 2020 alone.
National responses to protect, test and treat populations are underway, and the scientific community has responded with unparalleled rapid innovation to create diagnostics, discover therapeutics, and develop vaccines that can meet this global crisis.
With multiple vaccines currently in phase 3 trials, the response must now shift to preparing for the efficient and equitable distribution of vaccines globally.
COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Project
The COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Project supports EPI professionals in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to prepare for and operationalize equitable COVID-19 vaccine programs. We are a group of technical experts, public health professionals and implementers who are initiating this effort in coordination with the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) and specifically its Country Readiness and Delivery (CRaD) workstream, and alongside key national decision-makers and mobilizers from Ministries of Health (MoH), Ministries of Finance, Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs), and local implementing partners.
COVID 19 Vaccine Equity Project model
Connect dots between global conversations, country level implementers, and frontline health workers. Roll out country readiness and preparedness assessments, co-create action plan structure, and implementation process, identify tools and support required.
After the vaccines are introduced, we will support implementation through imbedded teams within implementation partners, MoHs and EOCs, and access to a global pool of technical experts.
Plan structure and implementation process, establish Program Management Office (PMO ) and information sharing platform. Conduct a Global Response Gap Analysis to identify specific areas for additional support. Select pilot countries, and co-design assessment frameworks and action plan outlines.
Begin to operationalize country-level Action Plans with MoHs and EOCs to ensure that in-country immunization programs are equipped for vaccine roll-out.
We connect ongoing global, regional and country-level efforts and ensure that they’re relevant for both national and sub-national immunization professionals. Given the global nature of COVID-19, current initiatives focus on developing global guidance that can support country-level responses. The COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Project takes a country-first approach, amplifying the work of ACT-A by collaborating directly with country governments and immunization professionals to assess their readiness and preparedness, and co-create country-specific action plans that both contextualise global guidance and reflect the realities of local service delivery. Once action plans are in place, our focus will shift to bolstering country-level capacity and expertise.
We will link countries to tools and best practices that support their efforts, and pull from our pool of technical experts to provide much-needed surge capacity to country-level immunization programs, ultimately transferring support to strengthened immunization infrastructure that is better equipped to handle life course vaccination going forward.
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY EQUITY?
We believe that equitable outcomes start with equitable processes. In order to realize equitable outcomes for COVID-19 programs, global, regional, and country responses need to do more than prioritizing vulnerable and at-risk populations. In addition, efforts must drive toward sustainably integrating COVID-19 vaccines into country-level EPI programs. In our experience, the most effective way to do so is by involving countries and communities in the planning, execution and decision-making process of vaccine introduction.
We do not seek to duplicate or replicate the technical expertise, track record of success, and momentum emerging from global and regional efforts. Rather, we will work hand-in-hand with these efforts to rapidly integrate country-level decision-making and community influencers into the iterative process of vaccine introduction, building from existing strengths in local government and civil society responses. This process seeks to result in more contextually relevant and locally owned responses, establishing a channel to help coordinate regional and global guidance to address local needs, and to surface gaps in country-level response that can be bridged by catalytic philanthropy.
How is COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Project different from other complementary efforts?
We connect ongoing global, regional, and country-level efforts
As a partnership, we will use our long-standing and trusting relationships across national and subnational ecosystems to guide and align existing efforts, identify gaps and provide additive capacity, all while preventing duplicative efforts.
We ensure equity in process and outcome
We will ensure that country and community representatives steer our work. This co-creation and collaboration will not just include the country action plans, but also the design of all the frameworks and assessment criteria.
We are agile and inclusive
Based on emerging needs, we commit to expanding our partnership, bringing to bear additional expertise where additive and fundraising to support specific capacity gaps where needed.
We aim to build longer-term systemic change
We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic requires an emergent response, however, it also creates an opportunity to strengthen the capacity of core immunization programs and do so sustainably.
We will closely involve and engage a global network of more than 1,000 immunization professionals representing 115 countries in decision-making through the Boost Community, the Sabin Vaccine Institute’s collaborative.