JSI to Partner with Sabin Vaccine Institute and Dalberg to Establish COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Project

October 29th, 2020 | News

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JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. has partnered with the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Dalberg to create the COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Project. This collaboration will support low- and middle-income country immunization professionals in leading the equitable delivery of COVID-19 vaccines through their national immunization programs. It complements the approach outlined in the COVAX Facility, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A)—led by the World Health Organization (WHO); Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi); and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

The Skoll Foundation is generously supporting the creation of the COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Project through start-up funding of $1 million to begin assistance with four countries. Following a successful pilot, the partners hope to secure additional funding to scale the project to more than 40 countries starting in 2021.

As COVID-19 vaccine developers generate clinical evidence of safety and effectiveness needed for vaccine approval, this project will help prepare for the efficient and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally, in close coordination and co-design with national immunization programs and partners. Together, this assistance will provide complementary support with technical resources towards achieving sustainable global protection from COVID-19 by 2022 and strengthen capacity for vaccination across the life span and as part of health systems.

This project leverages the three partners’ global reach and decades of experience in immunization systems strengthening to facilitate national planning and implementation. 

The initiative is led by Sabin, which promotes equitable vaccine access through its programming, particularly the Boost Community, a network of more than 1,000 immunization professionals from more than 115 countries. The Dalberg team brings its data capabilities, patient-centered approach, and extensive experience assisting countries’ response efforts. JSI will provide technical support and strategic planning to scale the project for global impact, leveraging our presence in more than 45 countries and deep experience assisting countries in introducing new vaccines and strengthening existing immunization programs.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Project will comprise three phases designed to rapidly assess the COVID-19 vaccine distribution landscape, maximize learnings, and scale with countries to enable equitable global delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. The three phases of the project will assist countries (in close collaboration with Ministries of Health, WHO, UNICEF and other partners) with COVID-19 vaccine preparations for equitable distribution now, before a vaccine arrives, and towards ensuring that it reaches the populations according to plan. No one is safe from the virus until everyone is safe.

 “This project aligns with JSI’s guiding mission to build stronger health systems to improve health outcomes for all,” said Lora Shimp, director at JSI’s Immunization Center. “Vaccines are a gateway to health equity and a tool to relieve a burden on stretched health systems by ensuring populations are protected against deadly or life-altering diseases. The JSI team looks forward to leveraging the technical capacity of the Immunization Center to ensure the successful scale up of this vaccine equity program across the globe.”

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