World Vision is warning leaders gathered in New York this week that without properly funding and addressing vaccine hesitancy, they cannot reach 70% vaccination globally by 2022.
The warning comes after the aid agency’s survey of national vaccine deployment plans in fragile contexts revealed far too few resources or planning had gone into programmes to address vaccine hesitancy. World Vision health experts spoke up in response to the US Administration’s planned rallying cry to world leaders at Tuesday’s Global COVID-19 Summit to vaccinate 70% the world by next year’s UN General Assembly, and invest in pandemic preparedness.
“While we welcome calls for fresh efforts to close critical gaps in the global COVID-19 response, the world cannot possibly defeat this global pandemic without a global response that also adequately addresses vaccine hesitancy,” said Tom Davis, World Vision’s Global Sector Lead for Health and Nutrition.
World Vision assessed national vaccine deployment plans (NVDPs) of nine countries facing some of the highest risks from COVID-19 due to their fragile contexts and vulnerable populations: Ecuador, Colombia, Uganda, Syria, Jerusalem/West Bank/Gaza, Sierra Leone, Mauritania, Bangladesh, and Mali. It found gaps that must be tackled if the most vulnerable people are to be vaccinated. These included:
Limited funds to address vaccine hesitancy: 78% of NVDPs did not have an adequate budget provision for implementation of community engagement and vaccine hesitancy interventions;
Lack of plans for addressing vaccine hesitancy: 44% of NVDPs had no interventions in place to address vaccine hesitancy.
Gaps in coordinating with civil society and community: 55% of the NVDPs did not have an adequate component to encourage community engagement in vaccine programmes.
“Even before COVID-19, the World Health Organisation prioritised vaccine hesitancy as a top 10 global threat to public health,” said Mr Davis. “World Vision’s work to identify and address barriers to vaccine uptake in different countries has shown us that vaccine roll-outs will only succeed when governments and other health providers address the multitude of reasons people do not want to be vaccinated.
“World leaders need to do more than get needles to arms – they need to properly fund formative research and community engagement to get arms to needles.”
Notes to editors
For more information please contact: Micah Branaman - Communications Technical Director, Global COVID-19 Response, World Vision on +1 469-286-5662 or email@example.com
World Vision International is hosting a side event on this issue – COVID-19 Vaccination: The Demand Side – on the margins of the 76th UN General Assembly high-level week on Monday, 20 September 2021 10 – 11:30am EST. Learn more and sign up at https://bit.ly/UNGA76covidvac.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.wvi.org or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision