Vol. 40, No. 1 January 2021
COVID-19 Vaccine To Vaccination: Why Leaders Must Invest In Delivery Strategies Now
Rebecca L. Weintraub, Laura Subramanian, Ami Karlage, Iman Ahmad, and Julie Rosenberg
Worldwide, leaders are implementing nonpharmaceutical interventions to slow transmission of the novel coronavirus while pursuing vaccines that confer immunity to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. In this article we describe lessons learned from past pandemics and vaccine campaigns about the path to successful vaccine delivery. The historical record suggests that to have a widely immunized population, leaders must invest in evidence-based vaccine delivery strategies that generate demand, allocate and distribute vaccines, and verify coverage. To generate demand, there must be an understanding of the roots of vaccine hesitancy, involvement of trusted sources of authority in advocacy for vaccination, and commitment to longitudinal engagement with communities. To allocate vaccines, qualified organizations and expert coalitions must be allowed to determine evidence-based vaccination approaches and generate the political will to ensure the cooperation of local and national governments. To distribute vaccines, the people and organizations with expertise in manufacturing, supply chains, and last-mile distribution must be positioned to direct efforts. To verify vaccine coverage, vaccination tracking systems that are portable, interoperable, and secure must be identified. Lessons of past pandemics suggest that nations should invest in evidence-informed strategies to ensure that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines protect individuals, suppress transmission, and minimize disruption to health services and livelihoods.