Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Caribbean on the 1st March 2020, while the region has reacted swiftly with non-pharmaceutical interventions to control the outbreak, this has left countries in a much weaker economic position as economic growth contracts, debts rise, and fiscal space narrows limiting governments abilities to support recover and rebuild.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread globally with the appearance of new variants of concern, vaccinations offer the best hope of helping countries reduce and remove the spread of this virus.
The steady arrival of vaccines in the Caribbean over 2021 has placed countries in a better position now to plan for their recoveries. As immunity from COVID-19 builds governments have been able to soften restrictions. However, after a strong uptake initially, some countries in this region have been experiencing delays in the acceptance of or refusal to take the vaccine. This hesitancy is impacting on countries ability to plan new vaccine deliveries as well as the timing of them opening their economies up further to spur economic recovery.
The development and launch of this proposal represent a joint United Nations Agency approach to supporting Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean reduce vaccine hesitancy and expedite the rollout of vaccines. In doing so it combines the expertise of five UN Agencies – PAHO/WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNWOMEN, and ITU – under the oversight of the UN Resident Coordinator and technical lead of PAHO/WHO to support the governments across five pillars of work to reduce hesitancy.
- Research and policy options
- Behavioural change strategies
- Risk communications and advocacy
- Vaccine Motivation
- Monitoring and evaluation
The key outcome expected from this project is for governments to achieve and surpass their COVID-19 vaccine rollout targets to protect citizens against this virus as well as eventually eliminate the transmission of this virus.
The structure and agenda of the event is detailed below.
When: Friday November 19th, 2021 from 10.30am to 12.10 AST
Where: Virtually via UWI TV [www.uwitv.org] and UN Facebook Page
The purpose of this event is to announce the present the United Nations Vaccine Hesitancy Proposal.