Linked Community News: February 2024

This newsletter is available in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian.

Happy new year! We hope everyone is feeling revitalized following the holiday season. The Linked Network Facilitation Team has been hard at work preparing a series of exciting learning engagements and innovative initiatives to continue strengthening national immunisation programmes and we can’t wait to share more information in the coming months!

At the end of 2023, Linked held two key exchanges centered around the successful implementation and scale-up of electronic immunisation registries, including an in-person study tour to Australia and a cross-regional webinar. These exchanges focused on exploring the challenges and barriers, as well as strategies to address the challenges, with country experiences being at the forefront. For those who were not able to participate, we now have the webinar recording available on the website, as well as a learning resource that synthesizes the shared challenges and major lessons or strategies that emerged from both engagements.

The Linked website had a design refresh on the homepage, resource library, and blog. The refresh was intended to make it easier to find key and recent resources in a more visually appealing way. We hope you like it! If you have any feedback on the website, please contact the Network Facilitators at

The global immunisation community has also published a range of evidence, tools, and country spotlights to help tackle immunisation programme challenges, such as vaccine hesitancy and new vaccine introduction. The BMJ published a series of analyses focused on How are Social Media Influencing Vaccination?, including Behavioural interventions to reduce vaccine hesitancy driven by misinformation on social media, Using social media to build confidence in vaccines: lessons from community engagement and social science research in Africa, and Centering health workers and communities is key to building vaccine confidence online. A new evidence brief summarizes how a single-dose schedule for the HPV vaccine could be an important tool to improve health equity and reduce disparities in HPV-related cancers. A report from the Vaccine Acceptance Research Network (VARN) Conference outlines key messages and findings from conference sessions on policy and programmatic challenges, opportunities, and strategies related to vaccine acceptance, demand, and delivery.

As always, these resources, as well as other relevant and timely news, events, tools, and network updates, can be explored on the Linked website, as well as our Linked Immunisation Action Network page on LinkedIn. Please be sure to follow and share with your networks and colleagues!

Warm regards,

Cheten Zangmo, Assistant Program Officer, EPI Unit, Ministry of Health, Bhutan

Electronic Immunisation Registries: Challenges and Strategies to Implementation – A Cross-Regional Learning Resource from Linked Study Tour and Webinar
In October 2023, Linked partnered with The University of Sydney School of Public Health to host country teams from Bhutan, Laos, Indonesia, and Viet Nam for a study tour to Australia to explore the history, structure, use, and features of the Australian Immunisation Registry (AIR). In examining how Australia developed and scaled the AIR over time, important strategies and lessons emerged. Then, in December 2023, Linked hosted a webinar exploring the challenges and barriers related to implementing and scaling Electronic Immunisation Registries (EIRs). Participants of the AIR study tour joined representatives from Guyana, Honduras, and Nicaragua virtually to share the main takeaways from their trip to Australia and exchange experience cross-regionally. This learning resource synthesizes the shared challenges and major lessons or strategies that emerged from both engagements – explore them on the Linked website here.

Linked Cross-Regional Webinar: Country Experiences & Lessons Learned Related to the Implementation of EIRs
Linked held a webinar to exchange experiences and practical, how-to knowledge between countries of the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) and the Asia-Pacific Regions to address challenges and strategies related to the implementation of electronic immunisation registries. The discussion focused on priority topics including the benefits and lessons learnt from establishing and using EIRs, challenges and potential barriers to implementing or scaling electronic registers, pros and cons for paper-based records maintenance while transitioning to the EIR, and sub-national considerations. Don’t miss out on the rich learnings and country experiences – the webinar recording is now available on the Linked website here.

Mongolia’s exemplary Covid-19 vaccine roll-out while sustaining high routine immunisation coverage
By July 2021, Mongolia had vaccinated 60% of their population with the primary COVID-19 vaccine series while successfully maintaining high routine coverage in their national immunisation programme. This case study describes the planning, coordination and vaccination strategies used to achieve this. Explore more here.

Improving equity in urban immunisation in low- and middle-income countries: A qualitative document review
As the world continues to urbanize, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, understanding the barriers and effective interventions to improve urban immunisation equity is critical to achieving both Immunization Agenda 2030 targets and the Sustainable Development Goals. This research article identified common challenges to achieving equitable coverage in urban areas and mapped proposed interventions. Learn more here.

The power of a single dose: Evidence for a single-dose HPV vaccine schedule
Researchers have concluded that a single dose of HPV vaccine provides high levels of protection against high-risk strains of HPV, even several years after vaccination, and induces a robust immune response. Explore how a single-dose schedule could be an important tool to improve health equity and reduce disparities in HPV-related cancers, protecting all girls everywhere against this preventable disease, in a VoICE evidence brief here.

Supporting evidence-based rotavirus vaccine introduction decision-making and implementation: Lessons from 8 Gavi-eligible countries
The Rotavirus Accelerated Vaccine Introduction Network (RAVIN) was established in 2016 to provide support to eight Gavi-eligible countries that had yet to make an RVV introduction decision and/or requested technical assistance with RVV preparations. This article summarizes their approach, describes how the project responded collectively to an evolving product landscape, synthesizes common characteristics of the country experiences, highlights key lessons learned, and outlines the unfinished agenda to inform future new vaccine introduction efforts by countries and global partners. Uncover the key lessons here.

Measuring zero-dose children: Reflections on age cohort flexibilities for targeted immunisation surveys at the local level
This article summarizes a recent workshop discussion on zero-dose (ZD) measurement for targeted surveys at local levels related to flexibilities in age cohorts of inclusion from the ZD learning Hub (ZDLH) initiative. Considerations may include the need to generate insights on immunization timeliness and on catch-up activities, the need to compare results across different age cohort years to better identify systematically missed communities and validate programmatic priorities, and generate insights on changes under dynamic contexts such as the introduction of a new ZD intervention or for recovering from the impact of health system shocks. View the full article here.

Behavioral interventions to reduce vaccine hesitancy driven by misinformation on social media
Investigating the success of behavioral interventions to drive vaccine uptake is essential because there is an established link between social media exposure and offline beliefs that vaccines are unsafe. This analysis provides 10 insights based on the existing evidence to help provide a clearer and more specific, evidence driven toolkit of approaches to reduce vaccine hesitancy. Examine the insights here.

Using social media to build confidence in vaccines: lessons from community engagement and social science research in Africa
A better understanding of the complex sociopolitical drivers of distrust in vaccination will increase the potential of social media to rebuild vaccine confidence. This analysis argues for a more critical perspective on vaccine confidence—what it is, what hinders or drives it, and what may help to (re)build it—and examines how core characteristics of social media could be effectively harnessed to foster vaccine confidence. Discover the key principles here.

Centering health workers and communities is key to building vaccine confidence online
Drawing from experience with tackling misinformation and building health literacy within Indonesian communities, the authors of this analysis learnt that promoting credible and compelling sources of health information benefits from taking a whole-of-society approach that helps to translate science for a general audience and promote digital literacy. Read their lessons for success here.

When communities lead, global immunisation succeeds: VARN2023 conference report
The VARN2023 Conference Report summarizes the key findings from the 2023 Vaccine Acceptance Research Network (VARN) Conference, which brought together 231 researchers and professionals across 47 countries to exchange knowledge related to vaccine acceptance, demand, and delivery. Explore key messages and findings from the conference sessions here.

Why some people don’t trust science – and how to change their minds
For many years, it was thought that the main reason some people reject science was a simple deficit of knowledge and a fear of the unknown. But if that were indeed the core problem, the remedy would be simple: inform people about the facts. This strategy has, however, failed at multiple levels. With this in mind, many research teams decided to find out why some people do and some people don’t trust science. Explore the key findings here.

Bangladesh’s remarkable journey to introduce the HPV vaccine
Last October, Bangladesh introduced the HPV vaccine into its routine immunisation programme, following a years-long delay partly due to the global supply shortage, but mostly due to the shifting of efforts towards tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr Tanvir Hossen, of the country’s Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), tells us how they did it in this VaccinesWork story. Read it here.

One dose at a time: Mobilizing to eliminate cervical cancer in Nigeria
In October 2023, Nigeria introduced the single-dose HPV vaccine into its routine immunisation programme. This marked a historic milestone in the fight against HPV-related cancers, including cervical cancer, which is one of the leading causes of death for Nigerian women. Explore this momentous vaccine introduction here.

Stepping up immunisation for a healthier tomorrow
Delivering vaccines on elephants, rowboats, and drones is part of alternative vaccine delivery microplanning for routine immunisation in hard-to-reach areas in the Changlang district of India. Learn more about their important journey here.

Equity in action: Local strategies for reaching zero-dose children and communities
The Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF) and Gavi’s Zero-Dose Learning Hub (ZDLH) held an interactive session to analyze real-world strategies for identifying and reaching zero-dose children across urban areas, conflict zones, and other marginalized communities. Practitioners in Bangladesh, Mali, Nigeria, and Uganda discussed how they’re developing tailored local solutions to bring equity to immunisation. In case you missed it, presentation slides and recordings from the webinar are available in English and French here.

Sustainable financing for immunisation: MENA countries share their lessons learnt on how to build an investment case
Last month, the Vaccine Procurement Practitioners Network (VPPN) held an online panel discussion focused on how to build an investment case for sustainable financing for immunisation. Government representatives from Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia shared their experience with the process of introducing a new vaccine and highlighted key steps, challenges, and good practices, while focusing on how investment cases or other types of evidence can be useful to secure government funding. The event resources can be accessed below:

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