UNICEF | WHO: Acceptance and demand for COVID-19 vaccines–Guidance for Overall Planning

Interim guidance from UNICEF and WHO

In January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The outbreak, the first cases of which were detected in China, has infected millions of people across the world and caused significant loss of life. To protect people from the disease, vaccines against COVID-19 are being developed by several manufacturers in a number of countries. Vaccines, combined with behaviours such as physical distancing, hand hygiene, correct mask wearing, respiratory etiquette, improved ventilation will be the most effective means to protect populations from coronavirus. It is expected that only a limited supply of vaccines will be available in the early days. It will be important for countries to have a good communication plan in place to provide accurate and up-to-date information to families and communities about the COVID-19 vaccines, eligible segments of the population and continuation of recommended behaviours by all community members to prevent infection and transmission. Demand generation interventions will need to encourage eligible populations to be vaccinated and at the same time manage public expectations and convey that vaccine supplies will not be sufficient for everyone in the beginning.

This demand planning guidance document has been developed through a participatory, multi-stakeholder and iterative process by the demand sub-working group of the Country Readiness and Delivery (CRD) workstream of COVAX, the vaccine pillar of ACT-A. The development process was based on a range of scientific evidence, grey literature, existing guidance and plans for new vaccine introductions and mass vaccination campaigns, and a depth of expertise from many organizations with extensive experience in this domain from all regions the world. Experts and implementers from all regional offices and a diverse range of countries were engaged in the process to ensure practical and realistic approaches were taken. A particular focus was placed on social listening and behavioural and social data collection and use, to guide the design and evaluation of targeted strategies to generate and sustain demand.

This document is intended to serve as practical, how to guidance to support programmes to achieve high acceptance and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines. It accompanies an Excel sheet planning template that should be considered together with this document. Please adapt both to your context.

View the planning tool here.

Share This Resource