East Africa’s Changing Landscape for COVID-19 Vaccine Introduction
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused hundreds of millions of cases and millions of deaths worldwide. It has also led to a global economic recession and has had broad-reaching negative secondary impacts on education, routine health service delivery and preventive care, food security and mental health. Building on decades of investment in vaccine technology, pharmaceutical companies developed and deployed highly effective vaccines with unprecedented speed — less than a year after the novel coronavirus was identified and its genetic sequence published. However, the effective and equitable distribution of these vaccines is an ongoing battle between the capacity to deploy them and the virus’s spread and ability to mutate — all amid the critical need to counter both misinformation and vaccine hesitancy and to confront long-standing structural inequities among and within nations.
To date, the globally coordinated response to equitably cover immunization is falling short, and low- and middle-income countries are grappling with waves of infections. FHI 360 is committed to supporting these countries through the effective, efficient and equitable deployment of immunizations. With this intention, FHI 360 is convening an East Africa-focused virtual panel, featuring regional government and technical leaders, to discuss best practices and the appropriate roles for private sector, civil society and government partners in addressing vaccine hesitancy and demand generation activities.
Kokeb Berhanu, FHI 360’s Country Representative in Ethiopia, is moderating the webinar.