Summary of the Status of National Immunization Programs during the COVID-19 Pandemic, July 2020
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Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) have recommended that uninterrupted vaccination be maintained as an essential health service. To this end, PAHO's Comprehensive Family Immunization Unit of the Family, Health Promotion, and Life Course Department has worked assiduously with the countries of the Region to maintain sound national immunization programs on several fronts, such as the preparation of documents and guidelines for continuing vaccination in the context of COVID-19; monitoring the disease’s impact on vaccination coverage; assessing the effects of the postponement of measles vaccination campaigns (Plurinational State of Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Paraguay) due to the pandemic; and strengthening vaccination against seasonal influenza. The data presented in this publication were collected through a survey, sent every two weeks to IM focal points and advisors in the at PAHO country offices in the Region. The SurveyMonkey virtual platform was used and the data were analyzed with MS Excel tools. All the variables included in the survey were described using the appropriate univariate statistics. Categorical variables were described using proportions and percentages. Ordinal variables were described using the mean and median. Work has also been carried out to monitor the functioning of immunization services and the main problems they face because of the pandemic. To date, five-country surveys have been conducted; the first was sent out on 16 April, the last on 6 July. This document summarizes the surveys' main findings and developments. The responses in this report represent the opinions of survey participants, and do not represent reports officially sent or solicited by PAHO; the data should, therefore, be interpreted with caution.
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