The Peer-2-Peer organized a Humanitarian Coordinators’ (HCs) Dialogue on “COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in humanitarian settings”, as a follow-up to the five COVID-related P2P webinars organized in 2020 and 2021. The session was facilitated by Altaf Musani, WHO Director of Health Emergency Interventions, with presentations by Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme; Mr. Ted Chaiban, Global Lead Coordinator for Country Readiness and Delivery; and Mr. Abou Kampo, UNICEF Global Director of Health. The purpose was to: 1. contribute to HCs’ understanding of strategies to addressing challenges related to vaccination of vulnerable and at-risk communities; 2. build consensus on how HCs/HCTs and Country Readiness and Delivery teams can collaborate to ensure vaccines reach vulnerable communities in humanitarian crises; and 3. give HCs a fuller understanding of how the COVAX Humanitarian Buffer can be deployed in their countries. The Dialogue was attended by 7 HCs and two Emergency Directors, a number of HCT members from different field operations, and resource persons from key agencies.

The following key points were highlighted:

  1. In 2022, the world has a key opportunity to exit the acute phase of the pandemic, but we cannot achieve this without helping fragile countries manage COVID, strengthen their health systems and prepare for the next pandemic.
  2. The new Global Lead Coordinator for Country Readiness and Delivery will have a key role in supporting this process, as every country’s exit from the pandemic will be different.
  3. The COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership will support 34 countries with less than 10% vaccination coverage, and which are off-track to meet WHO’s goal of 70% vaccination by mid-2022. Half of these countries have 2022 HRPs, showing the key role of HCs in this process.
  4. COVID-19 vaccination and response should be integrated with other primary care as part of a multi-pronged approach, including routine immunizations, nutrition and WASH, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable including women and children.
  5. Vaccine hesitancy remains a key challenge. All partners must continue to work closely with host governments to address this through a tailored, country-specific and integrated approach, including through renewed community engagement and the rollout of the Humanitarian Buffer.

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