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Vaccine Equity, Acceptance at Center of Immunization Advocates New Activities

On Wednesday, September 22, United States President Joe Biden hosted a virtual Global COVID-19 Summit, where he called upon the world’s leaders to commit to providing COVID-19 vaccinations to at least 70% of the population of every country by September 2022. Sabin’s Chief Executive Officer Amy Finan participated in the summit with a written statement calling on leaders to:

  • Increase and fund the supply of COVID-19 vaccines in low- to middle-income countries (LMICs)
  • Execute equitable practices for vaccine access and distribution
  • Listen to health workers and immunization professionals delivering vaccines around the world and act on their lived experiences
  • Invest in immunization systems and workforce to ensure high levels of vaccine uptake

Foundationally, the statement commits Sabin to “deepen our understanding of the complex social and behavioral drivers of vaccine acceptance by learning from and connecting researchers, health workers and journalists in LMICs and sharing that local knowledge to influence policy.”

Immunization Advocates Launches Season 2 of Community Conversations on Vaccines Podcast

Sabin’s Immunization Advocates program launched season two of our podcast – Community Conversations on Vaccines — to focus discussion on barrier-related immunization issues in three countries — Kenya, Brazil and Nigeria. Our guests share their experiences on how public health professionals and journalism trainers are addressing challenges related to vaccine equity, supply, acceptance and demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. These leaders provide valuable insights on the challenges they face informing their communities about immunization during the pandemic and their recommendations for policy change.

Nursing Now Challenge Winners Announced

Continuing to foster vaccine acceptance while supporting current and future community leaders, Immunization Advocates partnered with the Nursing Now Challenge as a part of the Global Solutions Initiative (NNCGSI) to elevate the voices and perspectives of nurses and midwives and influence discussions and decisions on vaccine equity and acceptance at local, national and global levels. This month, we announced the challenge winners, who will benefit from (1) a six-week training course led by a leading storytelling and leadership trainer Dr. Pedja Stojicic of People Power Health; (2) the opportunity to share their story during a session at the ICN Congress, 2nd – 4th November on nursing leadership in vaccine equity and acceptance; (3) $1,000 prize money to develop their idea; and (4) complimentary registration to the ICN Congress. 

Congratulations to the winners: Amy Staley from the United States; Mohamed Modber from Sudan; Mpho Shelile from Lesotho; Rafiat Akinokun from Nigeria; Rashid Mang’anda from Malawi; Rose Nakama from Uganda; and Shagul Hassan from Iraq. We appreciate the diligence and dedication these nurse leaders have towards vaccine equity, acceptance and demand, and we look forward to hearing and learning more from them.

Fall 2021 Journalist Training Initiatives Kick-Off

Beyond health workers and public health professionals, journalists play a critical role as information gatekeepers for vaccine information, and training journalists is at the heart of Immunization Advocates’ mission. This month, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) and Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), in partnership with Immunization Advocates, launched training programs for journalists to develop skills to report accurate scientific and public health-related information in their communities. 

IWMF’s Global Health Initiative includes journalist fellows from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to participate in learning, mentoring and engaging with experts to increase the depth of knowledge in covering vaccines and immunization. Latin American journalists participating in TRF’s provided journalists with a one-week intensive workshop on vaccine reporting and is being followed by one-on-one mentoring from seasoned media trainers to develop their stories. These programs and others supported by Immunization Advocates seek to increase the confidence of journalists to accurately find, review and report on immunization.