The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has partnered with IIHMR University in Jaipur to offer two online courses on "vaccine economics" for policymakers and programme managers to educate them on optimising vaccine coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to IIHMR University, the courses have already received 400 applications, out of which 230 participants from the field of immunisation and vaccine delivery have been short-listed.
The participants are from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Somalia.
"Vaccine economics has been an essential and critical aspect of public health in India. The global COVID-19 situation affected routine vaccination programmes. It accentuated the need for a robust model for the under-trial COVID vaccines, especially in the low- and middle-income countries, so that the maximum number of people who need it can get it," said David Bishai, Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA and Program Lead.
"IIHMR has been a trusted partner of Johns Hopkins in the Indian subcontinent and around for reaching out to the maximum number of policymakers and immunisation managers," he added.
From India, 53 participants have been selected to attend the programmes, out of 64 who expressed interest.
The participants are working in organisations such as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, state ministries, WHO, UNDP, UNICEF, Tata Trusts, Clinton Health Access Initiative and IIT Kharagpur.
According to P R Sodani, Officiating President, IIHMR University, Jaipur, "Evidence on evaluating infectious disease and the economic impact of vaccination is critical in informing national decision-makers on the allocation of limited resources and in prioritizing interventions in the health sector. COVID-19 has thrown up new challenges for managing existing immunization programs as well as preparing for the rapid deployment of the upcoming COVID vaccine."
"Our online courses aimed at helping immunisation managers optimise vaccine delivery in this challenging time. We are happy that the programme has received an overwhelming response," he said.
The novel coronavirus has infected 4.76 crore people across the globe and claimed 12.11 lakh lives. In India, the total coronavirus cases have mounted to 83,64,086 and the death toll climbed to 1,24,315.
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