Bridgetown, Barbados, 26 February 2024 (PAHO) – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) will convene a three-day workshop in Saint Lucia on 26–28 February 2024, to review and discuss the new support that Gavi is giving to middle-income countries (MICs) for critical New Vaccine Introductions.

Within the framework of its strategy for MICs, Gavi can provide catalytic funding in the form of technical assistance, one-off costs and vaccine supplies to achieve equitable and sustainable introductions for rotavirus, pneumococcal and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines. Approved by the Gavi Board in 2020, the MICs Approach addresses threats to the equity and sustainability of routine immunization programmes, contributing to Gavi’s vision of leaving no one behind with immunization.

In the post-pandemic era, the Caribbean subregion has made steady progress in recovering its immunization coverage rates for most antigens. However, significant efforts are still needed to achieve the required coverage to mitigate the risk of potential outbreaks.

The workshop will be an opportunity to share an update on vaccine coverage in the region; exchange experiences among participating countries; present the types of support that countries can apply for through Gavi’s Middle-Income Countries strategy; and discuss opportunities for future collaboration. Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) Managers, Chief Medical Officers, pharmacists and Health Planners from Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines will participate across the three days.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Gavi in providing countries with alternative resources for obtaining these essential vaccines. In the past, our region boasted robust immunization coverage, and through initiatives like this, we aim to strengthen that legacy and rejuvenate our efforts for countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Dr Amalia Del Riego, PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries.

“With outbreaks and the climate change-associated risks threatening global health security, ensuring that all children, no matter where they live, have access to life-saving vaccines is an urgent priority for Gavi,” said Tito Rwamushaija, Head of Middle-Income Countries Engagement at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “We look forward to collaborating with partners and countries to help bridge equity gaps and protect communities in the Caribbean region.”

For more than a decade, Gavi has been a strategic partner of PAHO and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) at the regional and country levels. This partnership helped strengthen immunization programmes for Gavi-eligible countries, and for COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) countries in the region during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Cirũ Kariũki
+41 79 913 94 41

Brenda Lashley 



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