Immunization Advocates Explores COVID-19 Vaccine Equity, Acceptance in Season 2 of ‘Community Conversations on Vaccines’
While many high-income countries are expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility and authorizing or considering the administration of booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines, low- and middle-income countries are grappling with delivering first doses to people most at risk for severe COVID-19 disease and, notably, health workers delivering immunization. Although common challenges of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and disinformation cut across many countries, inequities in vaccine access are posing additional challenges to vaccine acceptance and uptake in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
To better understand these challenges, Sabin’s Immunization Advocate’s program launched season two of our podcast, Community Conversations on Vaccines, to hear directly from health information gatekeepers about how they are addressing these issues.
This past spring, in season one of this podcast, we spoke with close-to-community health workers and journalists about their experiences with administering immunizations and communicating vaccine information shortly after COVID-19 vaccines were approved.
In season two, we speak with health workers, journalism trainers and immunization professionals from three countries in Africa and Latin America to understand the unique positioning of their communities and countries and how they are dealing with immunization barriers, both for COVID-19 and routine vaccines:
Kenya (Ep. 1)
We are joined by two health workers at the forefront of immunization in western Kenya. Dorothy Logedi, a nurse and coordinator of a vaccine program in Kisumu, and Margaret Odera, a community health worker and mentor mother to women living with HIV in Nairobi’s Mathare slum, discuss vaccine equity, supply, uptake and acceptance in Kenya and the challenges of both COVID-19 and routine immunization.
Brazil (Ep. 2)
Natália Flores, a science journalist and researcher and the content manager at Agência Bori, and Dr. Denise Garrett, Vice President of Applied Epidemiology at Sabin, discuss the challenges that journalists have faced while reporting on vaccines during the pandemic and the need for public health transparency to increase vaccine acceptance and demand.
Nigeria (Ep. 3)
We talk with Dr. Adefunke Adesina, a medical practitioner and epidemiologist and monitoring and evaluation focal person for the Lagos State Ministry of Health, and Elizabeth Kohlway, Senior Manager of Community Building and Digital Engagement at Sabin, about the opportunity to integrate immunization with other health and non-health sectors to touch more people and the need for global communities of immunization professionals, such as Sabin’s Boost community, to address immunization and vaccine challenges.
As we continue our conversations, we hope to provide further insight into the status of immunization in different LMICs around the world and to learn from the experiences of leaders at the forefront of COVID-19 and routine vaccine acceptance, demand and equity.
The first episode of season two is available on Tuesday, September 28 at www.immunizationadvocates.org/podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Download, listen and share your thoughts on social media to participate in the conversation. Follow and tag Sabin on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.