Gavi and IOM join forces to improve immunisation coverage for migrants

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

Gavi [to 28 Nov 2020]
https://www.gavi.org/
News releases
24 November 2020
Gavi and IOM join forces to improve immunisation coverage for migrants
:: Memorandum of understanding signed today will strengthen collaboration on vaccination efforts and related health services for migrants and forcibly displaced persons across the world
:: The agreement focuses on reaching missed communities in humanitarian and emergency settings with vaccination
:: Dr Seth Berkley: Reaching migrant, refugee and displaced populations “becomes all the more important as we plan to rollout COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.”
:: António Vitorino: Vaccines are key to keep people on the move and the communities they live in as safe as possible.

Geneva, 24 November 2020 – Today, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen their collaboration on vaccination efforts and related health services for migrants and forcibly displaced persons across the world, both regarding routine immunisations as well as in response to outbreaks. This milestone will be particularly critical in ensuring that migrants and other people on the move are considered and included, as the world continues its efforts to find a safe COVID-19 vaccine and is developing mechanisms, such as the COVAX Facility, to ensure a fair distribution so that as many lives as possible can be saved.

“Despite enormous progress over the past two decades ensuring children everywhere have access to lifesaving vaccines, 14 million children every year still miss out on basic vaccines,” said Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley. “We know a disproportionate amount of these unprotected children come from migrant, refugee and displaced populations, who are too often overlooked when it comes to basic health care. This obviously becomes all the more important as we plan to rollout COVID-19 vaccines worldwide; we cannot allow these populations to miss out on what could be one of our best routes out of this pandemic. That’s why we’re delighted to partner with IOM, to help provide a healthier future to some of the most vulnerable people on earth.”

“Vaccines are one of the most powerful tools we have to keep people on the move, the communities they leave behind and the communities they join as safe and healthy as possible,” stressed IOM Director General António Vitorino. “This reinforced partnership will be critical in helping IOM achieve just that and contribute tangibly to the realization of true universal health coverage.”

The agreement signed by the two organizations focuses on reaching missed communities in humanitarian and emergency settings with vaccination and support routine immunisation through engagement in primary health care systems. The partnership also aims to boost advocacy for the prioritization of vulnerable populations, support operational and policy assistance and facilitate technical collaboration. Specifically, the memorandum of understanding seeks to facilitate collaboration on ensuring the inclusion of migrants, IDPs and refugees in governments’ COVID-19 responses, in particular vaccination efforts…