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Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 18(1): 1975453, 2022 Dec 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1479913


Routine vaccination has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 37% of countries reporting continuing disruptions to vaccination services into 2021. These programs have been faced with the challenges of achieving high vaccination coverage rates (VCRs), as well as identifying and vaccinating those who missed recommended doses since the pandemic began. Declines in VCRs, even for short periods, can lead to an increase in disease outbreaks, place additional pressure on health systems, and leave communities across the world at risk of death and disease from vaccine-preventable diseases.In the face of these disruptions, select governments are implementing promising approaches to address low VCRs, some of which represent innovative solutions to advance short-term, as well as longer-term program improvement. However, expanded action is urgently required to fully recover vaccination programs and strengthen vaccine system infrastructure. The COVID-19 pandemic provides a unique opportunity to modernize routine programs and corresponding infrastructure to meet today's and tomorrow's health challenges more effectively and efficiently. This can be achieved by prioritizing routine vaccination as an essential health service, improving access to vaccination across the life-course, strengthening data systems, ensuring sustainable immunization financing, and building confidence in vaccination.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunization Programs , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
Ann Fam Med ; 19(6): 527-531, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1352694


In the United States, routine vaccination rates have plummeted across all age groups due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with our most vulnerable and under-served populations suffering the greatest declines. Returning to a "new normal" and recovering our nation's health and economy is of the utmost importance; however, there is a critical need to recover and protect communities against the spread of other vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks. While routine vaccination rates are slowly recovering for certain age groups, the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines adds complexities and challenges to recovery efforts. If not addressed, hard-won gains in routine vaccination may be lost, which could result in communities missing out on the social, economic, and health benefits offered by vaccinations.There is an urgent need to utilize evidence-based and innovative strategies to support both immediate and long-term efforts to recover, maintain, and sustain routine vaccination. Key short-term strategies include leveraging digital and mainstream media to drive awareness, coordinating across health and education sectors, utilizing centralized reminder recall, expanding access points to vaccination services, and elevating trusted voices for vaccination. In order to build back stronger, long-term strategies include enhancing immunization information systems, mitigating financial barriers to vaccination, investing in building vaccine confidence, and ensuring sustainable funding for immunization infrastructure.Annals "Online First" article.

COVID-19 , Vaccines , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunization Programs , Pandemics , Policy , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , Vaccination