This opinion piece originally appeared on the Devex website here.
The scale of COVID-19 vaccinations offers us a unique chance to focus on these people and communities left furthest behind and reach them with essential health care along with COVAX humanitarian buffer, which is designed to provide the often most neglected populations in humanitarian settings access to COVID-19 vaccines. Adults in these communities need priority protection with COVID-19 vaccines, while their children need priority protection of routine vaccines.
Immunization is the only intervention that brings the majority of households repeatedly into contact with the health system during the first two years of a child’s life. By building out the service delivery infrastructure, supply chains, data systems, and community engagement needed to deliver immunization, we can build a platform through which other primary health care services can be delivered. Therefore, reaching zero-dose children can be the first step toward comprehensive, equitable, and community-based primary health care.