COVID-19 vaccination, HIV and priority populations in our region: What’s needed?

By May 21, 2021 Newsroom, Publications, Regional

“Regional and country community-led advocacy is so crucial to keep raising voices to ensure that the most marginalized communities are not left further behind. Covid-19 vaccines must be accessible for everyone.”

Midnight
Executive Director: APCOM

Listen to the webinar by ASHM COVID-19 taskforce on HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and Sexual health on COVID-19 vaccination with experts from the region, including our Executive Director, Midnight who is a Regional Advisory Group member of the ASHM COVID-19 taskforce.

“Advocacy is going to be as important as ever in COVID vaccination rollout and in post-COVID rebuilding of health services. In the HIV/Sexual Health and Sexual minorities key populations sectors we fought for decades for the level of participation and patient centred services that we now have. The centralised, impersonal, top down, provider led service model is the go-to model in health. We found models what work better for everyone. The COVID response is starting up the same way, and we will need to work and probably fight for it to be transformed into a community-led, person-focussed system.”

Nick Medland
President: ASHM

“Nothing about us without us/GIPA/MIPA/Engagement with key populations and affected communities in planning vaccination roll-out, prioritisation and restructuring of health services. This might sound like a won battle, but because we are talking about COVID we can’t assumed that communities will be involved in the parts of the COVID response that affects them. It won’t work if this doesn’t happen. We know this and shouldn’t have to rediscover the wheel every time.”

Adeeba Kamarulzaman 
President: International AIDS Society
Dean of the Faculty of Medincine: University of Malaya

“People should be informed where they are in the priority list. Vaccination should be in safe settings including community clinics and without having to disclose reason for priority.”

Nittaya Phanuphak 
Director: Institute of HIV Research and Innovation
SpeakerMain discussion point
Edwina Wright 
Chair: ASHM COVID-19 Taskforce
Infectious disease physician: Department of Infectious Diseases, The Alfred and Central School, Monash University
Summary of evidence for vaccine prioritisation for PLWHIV
Adeeba Kamarulzaman 
President: International AIDS Society
Dean of the Faculty of Medincine: University of Malaya
Lessons learned from HIV & their applicability to COVID-19 response – vaccine equity and engagement of key populations
Eamonn Murphy
Director: UNAIDS Asia Pacific
Particular regional COVID-19 vulnerabilities, vaccine equity and UNAIDS strategy
Nittaya Phanuphak 
Director: Institute of HIV Research and Innovation (Thailand)
Patient safety across the COVID-19 vaccination pathway – real-world frustrations and some theoretical models of vaccination for our communities, the role of KP lay providers and supporting the workforce in non-discrimination
Sharon Lewin
Director: The Doherty Institute and APPRISE co-leader
Vaccine rollout across the region (what’s being rolled out where), and summary of the vaccine science (particularly Sinovac and Sputnik V vaccines)
Dale Fisher 
GOARN Chair
Professor: NUS Medicine
Senior Consultant: National University Hospital’s Division of Infectious Diseases
Reflection on the above talking points, in particular Singapore’s work in vaccine equity, reaching migrant populations and inclusive models of care
Midnight 
Executive Director: APCOM
Concerns of the community in terms of equity of access, movement away from the patient-provider dyad and the possibility for discrimination & vaccine drop out
John Rule
Senior Research Manager: National Association of People With HIV Australia (NAPWHA)
Concerns of the community in terms of equity of access for PLHIV
Nick Medland
President: ASHM 
Chair: ASHM COVID-19 Regional Advisory Group
Sexual Health Physician and Clinical Epidemiologist: Kirby Institute, UNSW
Chair