Dear TechNet members, please find below a link to a new WHO-UNICEF publication related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that you may find useful.
Immunization in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: FAQs
The document will be translated and the links for alternative languages shared as soon as available. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the FAQ will be revised as necessary.
These FAQs accompany the following WHO publication:
Guiding principles for immunization activities during the COVID-19 pandemic
The FAQs are organised in four categories, as follows.
- Should newborn vaccination programmes continue as planned during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Is adult vaccination recommended during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Should school-based vaccination be continued as planned during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Are there measures that countries can take to protect immunization providers from the COVID-19 virus?
- Are there ways to organize the immunization service site to minimize the risk of COVID-19 virus transmission?
- Can a person with COVID-19 (confirmed or suspected) infection be vaccinated?
- Can a person exposed to a COVID-19 case be vaccinated (a contact)?
- If immunization services are suspended or reduced, will countries need to conduct catch-up immunization activities?
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, are there activities that can be undertaken to preserve community acceptance of vaccines?
- If immunization services are suspended or reduced, what should be communicated to concerned parents who are worried about their children missing vaccine doses?
- If immunization services are suspended, when can immunization activities resume?
Vaccine-preventable disease surveillance
- Should surveillance for VPDs continue during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- What changes to VPD surveillance are recommended if the COVID-19 pandemic does not allow for existing VPD surveillance systems to continue as normal?
- How can continuity of laboratory-based surveillance for VPDs be ensured?
- How can COVID-19 surveillance be integrated with existing VPD surveillance?
- Should community-based surveillance be continued?
Cold chain and supplies
- What can be done to prevent vaccine stock out during and after the COVID-19 pandemic period?
- What actions can be taken to ensure availability of vaccines and related supplies for routine immunization programme at all levels?
- Can COVID-19 test kits, reagents and lab supplies be stored in vaccine cold chain?
- How can countries assess their cold chain system surge capacity?
- Are there ways to minimize burden on the cold chain storage during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Should other activities such as immunization trainings and coverage surveys continue?
- Should new vaccine introductions continue?
- Should verification exercises of measles-rubella elimination continue during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Should MNTE assessments continue during the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., pre-validation assessments, validation surveys and post-validation assessments)?
- Are there vaccines that are recommended for health care workers in the context of COVID-19?
- Is there a vaccine against COVID-19?