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4.
Am J Public Health ; 112(3): 393-396, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703908

ABSTRACT

Refugee and immigrant populations are extremely vulnerable to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 vaccination is a critical tool in mitigating these consequences, but these same communities often lack access to COVID-19 vaccines. We describe the efforts of a community-based primary care clinic in Clarkston, Georgia to provide access to COVID-19 vaccines in a culturally sensitive manner to address this health disparity and vaccine hesitancy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , COVID-19/prevention & control , Emigrants and Immigrants , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Refugees , COVID-19/ethnology , Cultural Competency , Georgia/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Trust
6.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 198, 2021 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571757

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the delivery of immunisation services globally. Many countries have postponed vaccination campaigns out of concern about infection risks to the staff delivering vaccination, the children being vaccinated, and their families. The World Health Organization recommends considering both the benefit of preventive campaigns and the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission when making decisions about campaigns during COVID-19 outbreaks, but there has been little quantification of the risks. METHODS: We modelled excess SARS-CoV-2 infection risk to vaccinators, vaccinees, and their caregivers resulting from vaccination campaigns delivered during a COVID-19 epidemic. Our model used population age structure and contact patterns from three exemplar countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Brazil). It combined an existing compartmental transmission model of an underlying COVID-19 epidemic with a Reed-Frost model of SARS-CoV-2 infection risk to vaccinators and vaccinees. We explored how excess risk depends on key parameters governing SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility, and aspects of campaign delivery such as campaign duration, number of vaccinations, and effectiveness of personal protective equipment (PPE) and symptomatic screening. RESULTS: Infection risks differ considerably depending on the circumstances in which vaccination campaigns are conducted. A campaign conducted at the peak of a SARS-CoV-2 epidemic with high prevalence and without special infection mitigation measures could increase absolute infection risk by 32 to 45% for vaccinators and 0.3 to 0.5% for vaccinees and caregivers. However, these risks could be reduced to 3.6 to 5.3% and 0.1 to 0.2% respectively by use of PPE that reduces transmission by 90% (as might be achieved with N95 respirators or high-quality surgical masks) and symptomatic screening. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 infection risks to vaccinators, vaccinees, and caregivers during vaccination campaigns can be greatly reduced by adequate PPE, symptomatic screening, and appropriate campaign timing. Our results support the use of adequate risk mitigation measures for vaccination campaigns held during SARS-CoV-2 epidemics, rather than cancelling them entirely.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Brazil , Burkina Faso , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Ethiopia , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment
8.
Pan Afr Med J ; 38: 313, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1547767

ABSTRACT

For 15 years, the Annual African Vaccinology Course (AAVC) hosted by the Vaccines for Africa Initiative, has been at the forefront of vaccinology training in Africa. The AAVC was developed in 2005 in response to the growing demand for vaccinology training in Africa. To date, 958 policy makers, immunization managers, public and private health practitioners, scientists, postgraduate and postdoctoral students have been trained. These participants are from 44 of the 54 African countries. The course content covers diverse topics such as considerations for new vaccine introduction, mathematical modelling, and emerging and re-emerging vaccine preventable diseases. As the landscape of vaccinology continues to evolve, the AAVC aims to expand the reach of vaccinology training using blended learning approaches which will incorporate online and face-to-face formats, while expanding access to this popular course. Ultimately, the AAVC endeavours to develop a big pool of vaccinology expertise in Africa and to strengthen regional ownership for immunization programmes.


Subject(s)
Vaccination/methods , Vaccines/administration & dosage , Vaccinology/education , Africa , Humans , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Vaccine-Preventable Diseases/prevention & control
10.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 8(5): 444-450, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537216

ABSTRACT

Psychiatric disorders, and especially severe mental illness, are associated with an increased risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection and COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality. People with severe mental illness should therefore be prioritised in vaccine allocation strategies. Here, we discuss the risk for worse COVID-19 outcomes in this vulnerable group, the effect of severe mental illness and psychotropic medications on vaccination response, the attitudes of people with severe mental illness towards vaccination, and, the potential barriers to, and possible solutions for, an efficient vaccination programme in this population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Immunization Programs , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunization Programs/ethics , Immunization Programs/methods , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Mental Disorders/psychology , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination Coverage , Vulnerable Populations/psychology
12.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(10): e2130800, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1490643

ABSTRACT

Importance: Although there are reports of COVID-19 vaccine implementation in real-world populations, these come from high-income countries or from experience with messenger RNA technology vaccines. Data on outcomes of vaccine deployment in low- or middle-income countries are lacking. Objective: To assess whether the pragmatic application of the 3 COVID-19 vaccines available in Argentina, 2 of which have no reports of evaluation in real-world settings to date, were associated with a reduction in morbidity, all-cause mortality, and mortality due to COVID-19. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study used individual and ecological data to explore outcomes following vaccination with rAd26-rAd5, ChAdOx1, and BBIBP-CorV. To correct for differences in exposure times, results are shown using incidence density per 100 000 person-days from the start of the vaccination campaign (December 29, 2020) to the occurrence of an event or the end of follow-up (May 15, 2021). Participants included 663 602 people aged at least 60 years residing in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Statistical analysis was performed from June 1 to June 15, 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures: Diagnosis of COVID-19 confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, death from all causes, and death within 30 days of a diagnosis of COVID-19. Poisson regression models were fitted to estimate associations with all 3 outcomes. Results: Among 663 602 residents of the city of Buenos Aires included in the study, 540 792 (81.4%) were vaccinated with at least 1 dose, with 457 066 receiving 1 dose (mean [SD] age, 74.5 (8.9) years; 61.5% were female [n = 281 284]; 68.0% [n = 310 987] received the rAd26-rAd5 vaccine; 29.5% [n = 135 036] received ChAdOx1; 2.4% [n = 11 043] received BBIBP-CorV) and 83 726 receiving 2 doses (mean [SD] age, 73.4 [6.8] years; 63.5% were female [n = 53 204]). The incidence density of confirmed COVID-19 was 36.25 cases/100 000 person-days (95% CI, 35.80-36.70 cases/100 000 person-days) among those who did not receive a vaccine, 19.13 cases/100 000 person-days (95% CI, 18.63-19.62 cases/100 000 person-days) among those who received 1 dose, and 4.33 cases/100 000 person-days (95% CI, 3.85-4.81 cases/100 000 person-days) among those who received 2 doses. All-cause mortality was 11.74 cases/100 000 person-days (95% CI, 11.51-11.96 cases/100 000 person-days), 4.01 cases/100 000 person-days (95% CI, 3.78-4.24 cases/100 000 person-days) and 0.40 cases/100 000 person-days (95% CI, 0.26-0.55 cases/100 000 person-days). COVID-19-related-death rate was 2.31 cases/100 000 person-days (95% CI, 2.19-2.42 cases/100 000 person-days), 0.59 cases/100 000 person-days (95% CI, 0.50-0.67 cases/100 000 person-days), and 0.04 cases/100 000 person-days (95% CI, 0.0-0.09 cases/100 000 person-days) among the same groups. A 2-dose vaccination schedule was associated with an 88.1% (95% CI, 86.8%-89.2%) reduction in documented infection, 96.6% (95% CI, 95.3%-97.5%) reduction in all-cause death, and 98.3% (95% CI, 95.3%-99.4%) reduction in COVID-19-related death. A single dose was associated with a 47.2% (95% CI, 44.2%-50.1%) reduction in documented infection, 65.8% (95% CI, 61.7%-69.5%) reduction in all-cause death, and 74.5% (95% CI, 66%-80.8%) reduction in COVID-19-related death. Conclusions and Relevance: This study found that within the first 5 months after the start of the vaccination campaign, vaccination was associated with a significant reduction in COVID-19 infection as well as a reduction in mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Immunization Programs , Vaccination Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Argentina/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19 Vaccines/classification , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Cohort Studies , Ecological Parameter Monitoring/methods , Ecological Parameter Monitoring/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Immunization Programs/methods , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Immunization Programs/statistics & numerical data , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccine Potency
13.
Infect Dis Poverty ; 10(1): 124, 2021 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468102

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: China is facing substantial risks of imported coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and a domestic resurgence in the long run, and COVID-19 vaccination is expected to be the long-lasting solution to end the pandemic. We aim to estimate the size of the target population for COVID-19 vaccination at the provincial level in the mainland of China, and summarize the current progress of vaccination programs, which could support local governments in the timely determination and adjustment of vaccination policies and promotional measures. METHODS: We conducted a descriptive study of the entire population in the mainland of China, between December 2020 and August 2021. By extracting provincial-stratified data from publicly available sources, we estimated the size of priority target groups for vaccination programs, and further characterized the ongoing vaccination program at the provincial level, including the total doses administered, the coverage rate, and the vaccination capacity needed to achieve the target coverage of 80% by the end of 2021. We used R (version 4.1.0) to complete the descriptive statistics. RESULTS: The size of the target population shows large differences among provinces, ranging from 3.4 million to 108.4 million. As of 31 August, 2021, the speed of vaccine roll-out differs considerably as well, with the highest coverage occurring in Beijing and Shanghai, where 88.5% and 79.1% of the population has been fully vaccinated, respectively. In 22 of 31 provincial-level administrative divisions (PLADs), more than 70% of the population was administered at least one dose by August. With the current vaccination capacity, the target of 80% coverage could be achieved by 2021 in 28 PLADs. CONCLUSIONS: Disparities exist in the target population size and vaccination progress across provinces in the mainland of China. China has made great strides in the vaccination speed since roll-out, and could basically achieve the targeted vaccine coverage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Immunization Programs , Vaccination , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Child , Child, Preschool , China/epidemiology , Female , Healthcare Disparities , Humans , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Pregnancy , Program Evaluation , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
14.
Environ Health Prev Med ; 26(1): 99, 2021 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1448180

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: In this article, we aim to share our experience in the hospital reorganization made to conduct the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaign, based on the principles of flexibility and adaptability. STUDY DESIGN: A descriptive study. METHODS: The data concerning the organization of the vaccination campaign were taken from the operative protocol developed by the hospital dedicated task force, composed by experts in hygiene, public health, occupational medicine, pharmacists, nurses, hospital quality, and disaster managers. Data about the numbers of vaccine administered daily were collected by the Innovation and Development Operative Unit database. RESULTS: Vaccinations against COVID-19 started across the EU on the 27th of December 2020. The first phase of the vaccination campaign carried out in our hospital was directed to healthcare workers immunization including medical residents, social care operators, administrative staff and technicians, students of medicine, and health professions trainees. The second phase was enlarged to the coverage of extremely fragile subjects. Thanks to the massive employment of healthcare workers and the establishment of dynamic pathways, it was possible to achieve short turnaround times and a large number of doses administered daily, with peaks of 870 vaccines per day. From the 27th of December up to the 14th of March a total of 26,341 doses of Pfizer have been administered. 13,584 were first doses and 12,757 were second doses. From the 4th to the 14th of March, 296 first doses of Moderna were dispensed. It was necessary to implement adequate spaces and areas adopting anti-contagion safety measures: waiting area for subjects to be vaccinated, working rooms for the dilution of the vaccine and the storage of the material, vaccination rooms, post-vaccination observation areas, room for observation, and treatment of any adverse reactions, with an emergency cart available in each working area. CONCLUSIONS: The teaching hospital of Pisa faced the beginning of the immunization campaign readjusting its spaces, planning an adequate hospital vaccination area and providing an organization plan to ensure the achievement of the targets of the campaign. This represented a challenge due to limited vaccine doses supplied and the multisectoral teams of professionals to coordinate in the shortest time and the safest way possible. The organizational model adopted proved to be adequate and therefore exploited also for the second phase aimed to extremely fragile subjects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Hospitals, Teaching/organization & administration , Humans , Italy/epidemiology
15.
Front Public Health ; 9: 709127, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1369737

ABSTRACT

The development of COVID-19 vaccines does not imply the end of the global pandemic as now countries have to purchase enough COVID-19 vaccine doses and work towards their successful rollout. Vaccination across the world has progressed slowly in all, but a few high-income countries (HICs) as governments learn how to vaccinate their entire populations amidst a pandemic. Most low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have been relying on the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility to obtain vaccines. COVAX aims to provide these countries with enough doses to vaccinate 20% of their populations. LMICs will likely encounter additional barriers and challenges rolling out vaccines compared HICs despite their significant experience from the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI). This study explores potential barriers that will arise during the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in lower-middle-income countries and how to overcome them. We conducted sixteen semi-structured interviews with national-level stakeholders from Ghana and Bangladesh (eight in each country). Stakeholders included policymakers and immunisation programme experts. Data were analysed using a Framework Analysis technique. Stakeholders believed their country could use existing EPI structures for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout despite existing challenges with the EPI and despite its focus on childhood immunisation rather than vaccinating the entire population over a short period of time. Stakeholders suggested increasing confidence in the vaccine through community influencers and by utilising local government accredited institutions such as the Drug Authorities for vaccine approval. Additional strategies they discussed included training more health providers and recruiting volunteers to increase vaccination speed, expanding government budgets for COVID-19 vaccine purchase and delivery, and exploring other financing opportunities to address in-country vaccine shortages. Stakeholders also believed that LMICs may encounter challenges complying with priority lists. Our findings suggest that COVID-19 vaccination is different from previous vaccination programs, and therefore, policymakers have to expand the EPI structure and also take a systematic and collaborative approach to plan and effectively rollout the vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Developing Countries , Humans , Vaccination
16.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0256394, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367706

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the US has been immensely successful in vaccinating those who are receptive, further increases in vaccination rates however will require more innovative approaches to reach those who remain hesitant. Developing vaccination strategies that are modelled on what people want could further increase uptake. METHODS AND FINDINGS: To inform COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategies that are aligned with public preferences we conducted a discrete choice experiment among the US public (N = 2,895) between March 15 to March 22, 2021. We applied sampling weights, evaluated mean preferences using mixed logit models, and identified latent class preference subgroups. On average, the public prioritized ease, preferring single to two dose vaccinations (mean preference: -0.29; 95%CI: -0.37 to -0.20), vaccinating once rather than annually (mean preference: -0.79; 95%CI: -0.89 to -0.70) and reducing waiting times at vaccination sites. Vaccine enforcement reduced overall vaccine acceptance (mean preference -0.20; 95%CI: -0.30 to -0.10), with a trend of increasing resistance to enforcement with increasing vaccine hesitancy. Latent class analysis identified four distinct preference phenotypes: the first prioritized inherent "vaccine features" (46.1%), the second were concerned about vaccine "service delivery" (8.8%), a third group desired "social proof" of vaccine safety and were susceptible to enforcement (13.2%), and the fourth group were "indifferent" to vaccine and service delivery features and resisted enforcement (31.9%). CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies several critical insights for the COVID-19 public health response. First, identifying preference segments is essential to ensure that vaccination services meet the needs of diverse population subgroups. Second, making vaccination easy and promoting autonomy by simplifying services and offering the public choices (where feasible) may increase uptake in those who remain deliberative. And, third vaccine mandates have the potential to increase vaccination rates in susceptible groups but may simultaneously promote control aversion and resistance in those who are most hesitant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Adult , African Americans , Consumer Behavior , Female , Humans , Immunization Programs/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Politics , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States , Vaccination Coverage , Vaccination Refusal
17.
Expert Rev Vaccines ; 20(10): 1351-1360, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360263

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccines are a critical tool against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, yet little is known regarding the associations of geographic location and perceived risk with the intentions to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in China. METHODS: An on-site survey of adults aged 18 or older (n = 7261) was conducted from November to December, 2020 in China, and this survey selected six provinces based on the geographic location. RESULTS: In the total sample, 82.5% reported that they would intend to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Compared with Hubei province, respondents' intentions to get vaccinated decreased by 70% in Zhejiang, 61% in Guangdong, 87% in Gansu, and 71% in Jilin, respectively. However, within Hubei province, compared with Wuhan city, respondents' intentions to get vaccinated in other cities were not significantly different. Respondents with higher perceived risk of infection were associated with increased odds of intentions to get vaccinated against COVID-19. CONCLUSION: Our study identified priority geographic regions that need to pay attention on the vaccination campaign and help design effective immunization strategies to increase the vaccine uptake against COVID-19. More attention should be paid to adults residing farther from the epicenter of the outbreak and having lower perceived risk of infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination/psychology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , China , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Intention , Male , Middle Aged , Surveys and Questionnaires
18.
Lancet Public Health ; 6(9): e674-e682, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1351894

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019, various public health and social measures (PHSMs) have been used to suppress and mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2. With mass vaccination programmes against COVID-19 being rolled out in many countries in early 2021, we aimed to evaluate to what extent travel restrictions and other PHSMs can be relaxed without exacerbating the local and global spread of COVID-19. METHODS: We adapted an existing age-structured susceptible-infectious-removed model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission dynamics that can be parameterised with country-specific age demographics and contact patterns to simulate the effect of vaccination and PHSM relaxation on transmission. We varied assumptions by age-specific susceptibility and infectiousness, vaccine uptake, contact patterns, and age structures. We used Hong Kong as a case study and assumed that, before vaccination, the population is completely susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. We applied our model to 304 jurisdictions (27 countries and 277 sub-national administrative regions from eight countries). We assumed that PHSMs have suppressed the effective reproductive number (Re) to fall between 1·0 and 9·0 locally before the commencement of vaccination programmes. We evaluated the levels of PHSMs that should be maintained during the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination to avoid a large local outbreak of COVID-19, with different assumptions about vaccine efficacy, vaccination coverage, and travel restrictions. We assumed that the maximum capacity of the health system, in terms of daily hospital admissions, is 0·005% of the population size. FINDINGS: At vaccine efficacy of 0·80 in reducing susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection, 0·50 in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infectivity, and 0·95 in reducing symptomatic COVID-19 diseases, vaccination coverage would have to be 100% for all individuals aged 30 or older to avoid an outbreak, when relaxing PHSMs, that would overload the local health-care system, assuming a pre-vaccination Re of 2·5. Testing and quarantine of at least 5 days would have to be maintained for inbound travellers to minimise the risk of reintroducing a local outbreak until high vaccination coverages are attained locally and overseas in most countries. INTERPRETATION: Gradual relaxation of PHSMs should be carefully planned during the roll-out of vaccination programmes, and easing of travel restrictions weighed against risk of reintroducing outbreaks, to avoid overwhelming health systems and minimise deaths related to COVID-19. FUNDING: Health and Medical Research Fund and the General Research Fund.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health/legislation & jurisprudence , Travel/legislation & jurisprudence , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Quarantine
19.
Health Care Manag Sci ; 24(3): 455-459, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1351321

ABSTRACT

Amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, the miraculous breakthroughs of multiple effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines offer hopeful prospects. Yet, the endgame of the pandemic is not vaccines; it is vaccination. The daunting challenge of vaccinating the world offers ample investigative opportunities for management scientists who are interested in improving the efficiency and equity of vaccine supply chains. In this article, we provide a brief overview of these opportunities through three constituent parts: (1) supply, (2) demand, and (3) matching supply with demand.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
20.
Isr J Health Policy Res ; 10(1): 43, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1339148

ABSTRACT

As of March 31, 2021, Israel had administered 116 doses of vaccine for COVID-19 per 100 population (of any age) - far more than any other OECD country. It was also ahead of other OECD countries in terms of the share of the population that had received at least one vaccination (61%) and the share that had been fully vaccinated (55%). Among Israelis aged 16 and over, the comparable figures were 81 and 74%, respectively. In light of this, the objectives of this article are: 1. To describe and analyze the vaccination uptake through the end of March 2021 2. To identify behavioral and other barriers that likely affected desire or ability to be vaccinated 3. To describe the efforts undertaken to overcome those barriers Israel's vaccination campaign was launched on December 20, and within 2.5 weeks, 20% of Israelis had received their first dose. Afterwards, the pace slowed. It took an additional 4 weeks to increase from 20 to 40% and yet another 6 weeks to increase from 40 to 60%. Initially, uptake was low among young adults, and two religious/cultural minority groups - ultra-Orthodox Jews and Israeli Arabs, but their uptake increased markedly over time.In the first quarter of 2021, Israel had to enhance access to the vaccine, address a moderate amount of vaccine hesitancy in its general population, and also address more intense pockets of vaccine hesitancy among young adults and religious/cultural minority groups. A continued high rate of infection during the months of February and March, despite broad vaccination coverage at the time, created confusion about vaccine effectiveness, which in turn contributed to vaccine hesitancy. Among Israeli Arabs, some residents of smaller villages encountered difficulties in reaching vaccination sites, and that also slowed the rate of vaccination.The challenges were addressed via a mix of messaging, incentives, extensions to the initial vaccine delivery system, and other measures. Many of the measures addressed the general population, while others were targeted at subgroups with below-average vaccination rates. Once the early adopters had been vaccinated, it took hard, creative work to increase population coverage from 40 to 60% and beyond.Significantly, some of the capacities and strategies that helped Israel address vaccine hesitancy and geographic access barriers are different from those that enabled it to procure, distribute and administer the vaccines. Some of these strategies are likely to be relevant to other countries as they progress from the challenges of securing an adequate vaccine supply and streamlining distribution to the challenge of encouraging vaccine uptake.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination Refusal/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Age Factors , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Israel , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Time Factors
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